CBS hits high note with country kudos

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Sunday night's 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards was the most popular edition of the program in years.

CBS' presentation of the ACMs (14.8 million viewers, 3.8 preliminary adults 18-49 rating) climbed 31% from last year's telecast to rank as the night's highest-rated program. The three-hour show had its best rating since 2005 and enjoyed its largest audience since 1998. CBS' "60 Minutes" (12 million, 1.8) served as its lead-in.

The performance followed last week's surprisingly strong CBS special "I Get That a Lot," which with the ACMs were promoted during the network's coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

With CBS in front Sunday, Fox placed second with a single original ("The Simpsons," 6.4 million, 3.1) and repeats. (partialdiff)
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