8:24am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: ACM Awards Rise to New Highs for 50th Anniversary
Posting the show's biggest haul since 1998, CBS' telecast of the Academy of Country Music Awards jumped on Sunday night for the country kudos' 50th anniversary special.
Fast national ratings from Nielsen give the three-and-a-half-hour telecast a whopping 15.7 million viewers and a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49. Those easily best the prior year's ratings, which saw 14.1 million viewers and a 3.3 in the key demo.
Facing the supersize show, most competing broadcast outings held steady — with NBC one notable exception. A.D. The Bible Continues dropped another 35 percent in its third outing, averaging just a 1.1 rating with adults 18-49. (American Odyssey sunk two-tenths of a point to a 0.6 rating in the demo.)
Over on ABC, America's Funniest Home Videos (1.4 adults) improved three-tenths of a point, while Once Upon a Time (1.6 adults), Secrets & Lies (1.4 adults) and Revenge (1.0 adults) all held steady with last week.
The Simpsons (1.4 adults), holding on Fox, led into a slightly boosted Family Guy (1.7 adults) — up two-tenths of a point from last week. The Last Man on Earth (1.4 adults) was again steady.