Grammys Draw Second-Largest Audience Ever

Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:39pm EST

Tributes to Whitney Houston helped Sunday's 54th Annual Grammy Awards draw more than 39 million viewers, the second-largest audience ever for the show, according to preliminary numbers.

The show, which aired on CBS, was the most-watched since 1984, when Michael Jackson won a record-setting eight awards.

Also read: Grammys Honor Whitney Houston: 'We've Had a Death in Our Family'

It was up more than 40 percent over last year's ceremony in the ratings, scoring a 14.1 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, according to the preliminary numbers.

That would match the highest rating since the 14.2 in 1990, when Bonnie Raitt led with four awards. (1990 was also the year Milli Vanilli won the Best New Artist Award, which was revoked when it was revealed that the duo had not sung on their album.)

The Grammys also had a 14.1 in 1993, when Eric Clapton dominated with six awards.

Before the Grammys, "60 Minutes" at 7 p.m. aired an interview with Adele (who went on to receive six Grammys) that scored a 2.9/8 and 14.5 million total viewers. It was up 93 percent in the demo from the last "60 Minutes" original airing two weeks ago. CBS was easily the highest-rated and most-watched network, averaging an 11.5/27 in the demo and 34.5 million viewers.

ABC drew the second-highest ratings of the night, but dropped off dramatically from CBS's numbers. "America's Funniest Home Videos" at 7 enjoyed a modest boost with a 2.0/5 in the demo and 7.7 million total viewers, while "Once Upon a Tim" was down 14 percent from its most recent original airing two weeks ago with a 3.0/7 in the demo and 8.6 million total viewers. "Desperate Housewives" at 9 slid to a series low, dropping 31 percent to a 1.8/4 in the demo and drawing 6.3 million total viewers, while "Pan Am" closed out the night at 10 with a 42 percent nosedive from its last original airing three weeks ago, dropping to a series low of 0.7/2 in the demo and 2.6 million total viewers. Overall, ABC averaged a 1.9/4 in the demo and 6.4 million total viewers.

Fox ran a "Bob's Burgers" repeat at 7, followed by "The Cleveland Show" at 7:30, which posted a 1.2/3 in the demo and 2.7 million total viewers. "The Simpsons" at 8 drew a 2.0/5 in the demo and 4.3 million total viewers, while "Napoleon Dynamite" at 8:30 received a 1.7/4 in the demo and 3.8 million total viewers. "Family Guy" at 9 took a 2.5/6 in the demo and 4.9 million total viewers, while "American Dad" finished the night at 9:30 with a 1.7/4 in the demo and 3.5 million total viewers. The network was third in ratings and fourth in viewers, averaging a 1.7/4 and 3.6 million.

On NBC, "Dateline" from 7 to 9 grew 33 percent from its last original airing five weeks ago, posting a 1.6/4 in the demo and 6.7 million total viewers, while "Fear Factor" from 9 to 11 dropped 35 percent from its most recent telecast on Jan. 9, hitting a series low in the demo with a 1.5/3, with 3.7 million total viewers. NBC was fourth in ratings and third in viewers with a 1.5/4 and 5.3 million.

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