Ricky Gervais’ Incendiary Performance Slightly Raises Golden Globe Ratings

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The show averaged 17 million viewers, up 5 percent in demo from last year’s show.

Ricky Gervais’ incendiary performance at The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards gave NBC its best non-sports tune-in since last year’s Globes when Gervais also hosted -- without incident. 

The show averaged 16.99 million viewers, a slight uptick compared to last year’s 16.98 million, with a 5.2  rating in the 18-49 demographic, for a 5 percent bump year-over-year. That was enough to give NBC the win (8-11 p.m.) among key demos (18-34, 18-49, 25-54) and total viewers.
CBS, which had a considerable lead-in from the New York Jets’ stunning playoff upset of the New England Patriots, was second from 8-11 p.m. averaging a 3.2 rating with 13.6 million viewers for 60 Minutes, Undercover Boss and CSI: Miami. However, the game garnered a whopping 13.6 rating with 40 million viewers boosting CBS’ primetime average (7-11 p.m.) to 5.8 with 20 million viewers.
Fox was a distant third (2.5, 5 million viewers) with an animated lineup that included new episodes of The Simpson, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers
And ABC was fourth (2.1, 7.7 million viewers) with its lineup of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters.
Last year’s Golden Globe ceremony was up 14 percent compared to the previous year, which drew approximately 15 million viewers. At that point, the telecast was still recovering from the 2008 Writers Guild strike which reduced the 2008 Globes to a news conference watched by a paltry 6 million viewers, a steep decline from 2007’s 20-million tune-in.
This year’s telecast, which was shown live on both coasts, was a hit on Twitter. According to Trendistic.com, nine of the top 10 Twitter topics last night were related to the Globes. And indeed, in the yawning middle of the telecast, when Gervais had not been seen for several acts, the Twitterverse exploded with speculation that he had been canned.