* Awards show hosts scored high marks from media, viewers
* Golden Globes drew more viewers than last year
By Chris Michaud
Jan 14 Ben Affleck and "Argo" were not the only
big winners at Sunday's Golden Globes - the show itself scored
big numbers in the ratings while co-hosts Tiny Fey and Amy
Poehler won warm notices from critics and fans alike.
Sunday's broadcast of the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards
received its best ratings in six years, outpacing other award
shows such as the Emmys and People's Choice Awards, NBC said on
The three-hour broadcast on NBC was up 28 percent from last
year in the coveted 18-to-49 age group, and spiked 17 percent in
total viewers, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research.
Some 19.7 million Americans tuned in to the show hosted by
Fey and Poehler, compared with 16.8 million who watched last
year, when acidic Briton Ricky Gervais was host, prompting
comparisons from many quarters.
Sunday's big Golden Globe winners were musical "Les
Miserables," which garnered three awards, and Iran hostage drama
"Argo," which won best dramatic movie and best director for
Viewers seemed enthusiastic about this year's show and the
hosts. The movie site Fandango.com found in an overnight poll
that 87 percent of moviegoers thought Fey and Poehler were more
entertaining than Gervais, who has hosted several times.
And nearly two-thirds of respondents said wins for "Argo"
and Affleck for best drama and best director were the night's
biggest surprises. Nearly one-third named "Lincoln," which won
only one award for Daniel Day-Lewis as best actor in a drama, as
having been accorded the biggest snub.
Media experts also gave Fey and Poehler a big thumbs up,
while fans and celebrities alike took to Twitter to express
their delight with the pair.
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres posted that Fey and Poehler "are
hilarious. I don't know why someone didn't think of this
The Hollywood Reporter raved that the annual show, where
stars are known for imbibing freely, table hopping and generally
letting loose, was "a funny, rousing and swiftly paced affair,"
adding "credit in large part goes to" Fey and Poehler.
Comparing the duo to previous host Gervais, it noted that
"it was nice to see Fey and Poehler prove that they could be
fantastic, funny hosts while also staying out of the limelight."
The New York Times said the co-hosts "brought charm and easy
good humor to a ceremony where stars are supposed to relax and
have fun. And it was one of the more amusing awards shows
because of it."
It added that after three years of Gervais' "puerile
bullying," the two comedians "were gentle - up to a point,"
citing their joke about "Zero Dark Thirty" director Kathryn
Bigelow knowing a bit about torture, having "spent three years
married to James Cameron." Bigelow and "Titanic" director
Cameron divorced in 1991.
The Hollywood Reporter called the quip "A well-crafted thing
of beauty that will be remembered for a very long time."
The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, worried for the host of
this year's Oscars, which will air on Feb. 24.
"Poor Seth MacFarlane," its critic wrote. "Until Sunday
night, hosting the Oscars must have seemed so easy." But Fey and
Poehler, "lovely, brilliant and utterly fearless ... made
awards-show hosting an art form again, helming three hours of
occasionally hilarious, occasionally emotional and surprisingly
And the Atlantic joined the chorus of praise, saying the
pair "killed it" with their opening monologue.
The Washington Post was more qualified, if still approving,
calling Fey and Poehler "the two women we'd rather watch awards
shows with (in sweat pants) than watch them endure the indignity
of having to host" the show. Now, its critic added, addressing
the hosts: "You've done your duty."
NBC is a unit of Comcast Corp