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TV Ratings: Oscars Post Modest Gains With Billy Crystal

UPDATED: Fast affiliate ratings have the 2012 broadcast outperforming James Franco and Anne Hathaway's 2011 show in viewers, though it likely skewed a little older.

Billy Crystal Oscars Stage Host - H 2012
Getty Images

The Academy Awards are poised for some ratings growth this year, despite largely negative reviews and plenty of expected wins.

PHOTOS: Oscars 2012: Red Carpet Arrivals

The Academy Awards are poised for some ratings growth this year, despite largely negative reviews and plenty of expected wins.

Fast affiliate ratings give the broadcast's a smaller showing among adults 18-49 over 2011, posting a 10.7 demo rating. That's even with last year's preliminary rating but one tenth shy of the final.

And while Billy Crystal's crowd may have skewed slightly older, it was almost certainly larger. Early viewership returns put the nearly three-hour broadcast at 39.3 million viewers. That's a 4 percent bump over last year's 37.9 million final.

PHOTOS: Oscars 2012: The Winners

ABC's red carpet coverage was likely down, with the three half hours pulling respective 4.8, 6.2 and 8.1 ratings among adults 18-49. Though the first hour posted gains, the half-hour leading into the Oscar broadcast dropped 11 percent, year over year.

The rest of the networks passed the night with mostly reruns, but CBS and NBC dropped original episodes of The Amazing Race and The Celebrity Apprentice. Both broadcasts dropped significantly from last weeks premieres, both hitting series lows.

PHOTOS: Oscars 2012: The Best & Worst Moments

Celebrity Apprentice fell the most, 31 percent since last week, to a 1.8 among adults 18-49. The Amazing Race posted a 25 percent loss, pulling in a 2.1.

Sunday, Feb. 26, Overnight Ratings:

7 p.m.
ABC: Oscar's Red Carpet Live (19.02 million viewers, 4.8 rating among adults 18-49)
CBS: 60 Minutes (R) (7.3 million, 1.3)
NBC: Dateline (4.98 million viewers, 1.1)
Fox: Bob's Burgers (R) (2.04 million, 0.8)

7:30 p.m.
ABC: Oscar's Red Carpet Live (23.4 million, 6.2)
Fox: The Cleveland Show (2.5 million, 1.0)

8 p.m.
ABC: Oscar's Red Carpet Live (30.1 million, 8.1)
CBS: Amazing Race (7.6 million, 2.1)
Fox: The Simpsons (R) (3.9 million, 1.6)
NBC: Celebrity Apprentice (R) (2.5 million, 0.8)

8:30 p.m.
ABC: 84th Annual Academy Awards (8:30 - 11:00 p.m.) (39.3 million, 11.7)
Fox: Napoleon Dynamite (R) (3.6 million, 1.7)

9 p.m.
NBC: Celebrity Apprentice (4.99 million, 1.8)
Fox: Family Guy (R) (3.5 million, 1.6)
CBS: The Mentalist (R) (4.9 million, 0.9)

9:30 p.m.
Fox: American Dad (R) (3.3 million, 1.5)

10 p.m.
CBS: CSI: Miami (R) (5.2 million, 1.2)