TV Ratings: CMT Music Awards Just Shy of Record With 3 Million Viewers

The CMT Music Awards, the marquee event in the cable net's calendar, returned Wednesday night near franchise highs.

About 3 million viewers tuned into the country kudos-cast, up 10 percent from the year prior and within a hair of the 3.1 million high set by 2010's show.

Again hosted by Kristen Bell, the show averaged a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. Skewing younger than last year, the show also brought all-time highs with women 18-34.

CMT used the show to help promote freshman reality success Party Down South. Now the network's most-watched original series, the Southern spin on Jersey Shore returns June 5.