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The Grammy Awards posted its second-biggest audience in 20 years.
The 55th annual ceremony, held at L.A. Live’s Staples Center, didn’t attract record numbers like last year’s telecast — which drew nearly 40 million viewers, making it the most-watched telecast since 1984, due to interest following Whitney Houston‘s death. But the three-and-a-half-hour awards show, hosted by NCIS: LA’s LL Cool J with performances from Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift, averaged 28.37 million from 8-11:30 p.m., the second-largest audience for the Grammys since 1993 (behind, obviously, last year).
The Grammys, which counted The Black Keys, fun., Mumford & Sons and Gotye as big winners of the evening, posted its second-best adults 18-49 demo (10.1 rating) in two years and 25-54 demo (11.2) since 2004. Among adults 18-34, the Grammys averaged a 9.3. According to fast nationals in primetime, Grammy viewership peaked during the 9-9:30 p.m. half-hour (31.1 million).
With 60 Minutes (11.1 million, 1.9) leading into the Grammys at 7 p.m., this easily put CBS at the top of the heap during Sunday primetime, with an 8.2 adults 18-49 average.
Fox placed second, with mostly originals of its animation comedy block averaging a 1.8. Following a repeat of Bob’s Burger’s (2.2 million, 1.0), nearly all of its counter-Grammy programming efforts saw dips, with the exception of The Cleveland Show (2.7 million, 1.3), up eight percent. The Simpsons (4.3 million, 2.1), Bob’s Burgers (3.4 million, 1.8), Family Guy (4.6 million, 2.4) and American Dad (3.8 million, 2.0) were all down.
ABC was third, with a 1.5 demo average. America’s Funniest Home Videos (7.3 million, 1.8) jumped 38 percent from its last original in late January, while fairytale drama Once Upon a Time (7 million, 2.2) dropped to a new series low, as did Revenge (5.1 million, 1.4). An ABC News special, Revenge for Real (2.9 million, 0.8), followed at 10 p.m.
NBC was fourth on the evening with a 0.8, with Dateline (5.7 million, 1.2), a repeat of Betty White’s birthday special (3.1 million, 0.6) and a Saturday Night Live special (2.6 million, 0.8).
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