Grammy Ratings: Most Watched Show in 10 Years

8:49 AM PST 02/14/2011 by Marisa Guthrie
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The CBS telecast was watched by 26.5 million viewers, up over last year’s show.

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards was up over last year’s telecast, which aired January 31, for its best total viewer tune-in since 2001. 

The show — which aired from 8-11:30 p.m. on CBS — was watched by 26.5 million viewers, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen. That’s a 3 percent uptick compared to last year’s Grammys, which pulled in 25.8 million viewers and another high note for the recording industry kudo-cast.
 
 
The telecast, which was chock full of performances with mercifully short acceptance speeches, posted a 14.8 rating in households with a 9.9 rating among the 18-49 demographic and a 9.1 rating in the 18-34 demo for year-over-year increases of 1 percent and 4 percent, respectively. 
 
 
Those numbers give the Grammys its best tune-in in those demos — as well as households and the 25-54 demographic (10.0 rating) -- since the 2004 telecast.
 
That was also more than enough to give CBS an easy win on Sunday night. Fox was a distant second averaging a 2.3 rating in the 18-49 demo (4.5 million viewers overall) from 7-10 p.m. with mostly new episodes of its Sunday-night animation lineup. ABC was third (2.0, 7.4 million from 7-11 p.m.) with originals of America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.8, 7.7 million), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (1.6, 6.4 million), Desperate Housewives (2.6, 9.1 million) and Brothers & Sisters (1.8, 6.3 million). Those numbers mark series lows for Desperate and Brothers & Sisters.
 
NBC was fourth with an anemic 0.9 rating and 4.7 million viewers with Dateline from 7-9 p.m. (1.1, 5.2 million) and back-to-back reruns of Harry’s Law at 9 p.m. (0.8, 4.6 million) and 10 p.m. (0.6, 3.9 million).
 
The Grammys also may have juiced tune-in for CBS News’ 60 Minutes, which featured Anderson Cooper interviewing Grammy-winning Lady Gaga. The show won the 7 p.m. hour in the demo and among total viewers, notching a 2.1 rating with 12.2 million viewers overall.
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