TV Ratings: Whitney Houston, Adele send Grammy numbers soaring on Sunday
Only ABC's 'Once Upon a Time' withstands the onslaught
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The tragic passing of Whitney Houston and popular success of the unstoppable Adele sent ratings for Sunday night's Grammys telecast soaring for CBS, averaging roughly 39 million viewers in early returns, making it possibly the second most-watched Grammys in history.
Not surprisingly, CBS dominated Sunday night in all measures, though with these numbers you'll have to keep in mind that while the Grammys aired live for much of the country, CBS continued the antiquated tradition of airing them on three-hour delay on the West Coast, which makes all figures very subject to change.
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged an 11.5 rating, crushing the competition in the key demographic. ABC was a distant second with a 1.9 rating, followed by FOX's 1.7 rating and the 1.5 rating for NBC.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 34.51 million viewers and a 19.1 rating.26 share. ABC was pretty far back in second with a 3.8/6 and 6.35 million viewers, beating NBC's 3.3/5 and 5.25 million viewers. FOX averaged 3.55 million viewers and a 2.1/3 for the night.
7 p.m. - The primetime sweep for CBS began in the 7 p.m. hour with 14.55 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 for "60 Minutes." NBC's "Dateline" averaged 8.35 million viewers and a 2.0 key demo rating for second. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" tied for second in the key demo and averaged 7.76 million viewers for a close third. FOX was fourth with a "Bob's Burgers" repeat (1.91 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo) and a new "The Cleveland Show" (2.73 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo).
8 p.m. - The start of the 54th Annual Grammy Awards averaged 40.68 million viewers and a 13.8 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "Once Upon a Time" held up impressively against the Grammys onslaught, still averaging a 3.0 key demo rating and a respectable 8.635 million viewers. NBC was third overall with 5.195 million viewers and fourth in the key demo with a 1.2 rating. FOX was fourth overall and third in the key demo with new episodes of "The Simpsons" (4.33 million and a 2.0 key demo) and "Napoleon Dynamite" (3.81 million and a 1.7 key demo rating).
9 p.m. - The Grammys improved to 42.64 million viewers and a 14.9 rating among adults 18-49 in their second hour for CBS. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" drew only 6.35 million viewers for second overall and finished third with a 1.8 key demo rating. FOX was third with "Family Guy" (4.99 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo) and "American Dad" (3.54 million and a 1.7 key demo rating). On NBC, "Fear Factor" drew only 3.32 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - CBS closed primetime in first with 40.17 million viewers and a 14.6 rating among adults 18-49 for the Grammys. NBC's "Fear Factor" averaged 4.14 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating. On ABC, a new episode of "Pan Am" drew 2.66 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.