Fast National ratings for Sunday, March 2, 2014.
Early numbers are in for Sunday night and, not surprisingly, they favor ABC and its broadcast of the 86th Academy Awards.
In addition to the usual caveats, there are a couple points of information:
1) ABC promises time zone-adjusted fast nationals for 3 p.m. ET, give or take, and those numbers will accurately depict ratings for the Oscars. These numbers only depict time period data and, as with Emmys, Golden Globes and Super Bowl ratings, they're essentially meaningless. I write them up anyway, but only because I assume you won't put any more stock in them than "essentially meaningless."
2) While the Oscars continued far later, the official Nielsen end-time for the Oscars will be 11:41, which was when the last national commercial spot aired.
3) The 2014 Academy Awards telecast is up over last year in metered market households and may be on track for the biggest overall numbers since 2005. But that doesn't mean anything. Remember how the most recent Super Bowl didn't seem to be tracking toward another audience record? And then it turned out to be the most program ever? Yeah. Numbers change.
On to the numbers, which include inaccurate Oscars numbers, plus slightly more accurate tallies for "The Amazing Race: All-Stars" and two newsmagazines.