<p>Pharrell performed at Sunday&#39;s Oscars</p>

Pharrell performed at Sunday's Oscars

Credit: John Shearer/AP

The 2014 Oscars hit a 10-year high in total viewers

Ellen DeGeneres can't top Seth MacFarlane in the key demo

Early this morning, I posted some meaningless numbers with time period data suggesting that the 86th Academy Awards might have been up for ABC.

Slightly less meaningless data is in and, indeed, ABC is boasting that the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted Oscars hit a 10-year high in total viewers and crushed the year's other big award shows in all measures.

Per Fast National and Live + Same Day ratings, the Oscars averaged 43 million viewers on Sunday (March 2) night and did a 12.9 rating among adults 18-49.

That made this the most-watched Oscars overall since 2004 and, in fact, ABC is saying this was TV's most-watched entertainment telecast since the May 2004 series finale of "Friends." The show was up by 6 percent in total viewers. The Oscars telecast was also up 1 percent among adults 18-34 to a seven-year high, up 8 percent among teens 12-17 and up 9 percent among kids 2-11.

It's unclear what to make of that, other than that ABC gave a lot of "growth" numbers, but ignored the key 18-49 demographic. That's because last year's Seth MacFarlane-hosted show did a 13.0 rating in the key demo. ABC, in fact, broke out relatively few demos for Sunday's Oscars, so it can probably be assumed that MacFarlane drew better male numbers, etc. However, "overall" is a pretty big demo and ABC's happy about that one.

The Oscars remains the gold standard for TV awards shows, certainly. The Academy Awards topped the Golden Globes by 22.1 million viewers and by 98 percent in the key demo and beat the Grammys by 14.5 million viewers and by 30 percent in the key demo.

Also growing was "Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars," which drew 6.99 million viewers, up 22 percent from last year, including 2.42 million viewers in the key 18-49 demo, up 20 percent from last year.

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Hits and Misses of the 86th Oscars telecast [Video]

Hits and Misses of the 86th Oscars telecast [Video]

How did we rate Ellen DeGeneres and the show's producers

In the aftermath of Sunday's (March 2) Academy Awards telecast, Gregory Ellwood and I took our place in the HitFix video studio to talk about the awards and the show itself.

In the video posted last night, we talked about the "12 Years a Slave"/"Gravity" split, Cate Blanchett's win and the exhaustive Oscar season as a whole.

In this video, Greg and I talk about the always problematic Oscars telecast itself, including Ellen DeGeneres' mixed bag performance as host, as well as the less impressive production elements included filler montages and a bloated In Memoriam segment.

Check out the analysis above.

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<p>Brad Pitt has an Oscar</p>

Brad Pitt has an Oscar

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

TV Ratings: Oscars dominates Sunday, ABC eyes slight increases

Real Oscar numbers will be in at midday Monday

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.

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<p>Brendon and Rachel of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot; All-Stars&quot;</p>

Brendon and Rachel of "The Amazing Race" All-Stars"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' - 'Baby Bear's Soup'

First becomes last, last becomes first and drama ensues in China

This happens every year, so I should stop complaining about it. Every year, it seems that "The Amazing Race" manages to start one week ahead of the Oscars, so it's one ordinary week of recapping responsibilities and then... 
BAM... An evening spent covering the Academy Awards, followed by a late-night "Amazing Race" recap. 

All that means is that I already had most of my soul slurped from my brain by Ellen DeGeneres taking selfies and ordering pizza, John Travolta bumbling Idina Menzel's name, the discovery that Kim Novak is still alive, various "12 Years a Slave" people forgetting to thank each other, Matthew McConaughey's three rules to live by and other bits of Oscar silliness. I'm sleepy.

However, it was an eventful episode of "The Amazing Race" and even if it wasn't a perfect episode, some pretty big things happen and those things need to be discussed, so I'm going to try to stay awake and I'll do my best to knock out the major points after the break…

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<p>Ellen DeGeneres</p>

Ellen DeGeneres

Credit: ABC

2014 Academy Awards Live-Blog

Follow along as Ellen DeGeneres hosts her second Oscars

Many of the races at Sunday (March 2) night's Academy Awards seem pre-determined as the ceremony is about to begin. Those guys from "My So-Called Life" and "True Detective" seem like locks. Etc. However, Best Picture is wide open. 

So let's hope that adds drama, while Ellen DeGeneres adds comedy. 

Click through and join my 2014 Oscars Live-Blogging. And comment below!

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<p>Garrett of &quot;Survivor: Cagaya&quot;</p>

Garrett of "Survivor: Cagaya"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Garrett Adelstein talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

Poker player explains why he left his Idol back at camp

As I mentioned in my recap of the "Survivor: Cagayan" premiere, poker player Garrett Adelstein managed to get himself blindsided through a number of impressive, self-generated circumstances. 

He pushed easy target J'Tia on a path to nutso rage at camp with his open forum strategy back at camp. He nudged Tasha to more aggressive play by trying to cut of strategizing at camp. He alienated Kass at Tribal Council by outing their semi-alliance. And, of course, he found an Immunity Idol, but left it buried at camp. 

To me, I also felt like he fixated too heavily on getting David out at the first Tribal Council, a decision that left J'Tia in the game in the first place.

Although Garrett came across as failing to live up to his tribe's braininess in the premiere, in his exit interview, he seemed much more articulate and introspective about his performance. One thing he didn't want to entertain was the possibility that targeting Dave was a mistake and, in that answer, he impressively filibustered for nearly half of our interview time, leaving me with a number of things I wasn't able to ask about. 


As I suggested in my recap, I think that the season goes a very different way if Brice, whose IQ I don't actually know, and Garrett had been swapped. Probably the season goes different if Garrett had been on the Brawn tribe as well. You can tell Garrett has thought about these things and more.

Click through for the full Q&A...

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<p>Mads Mikkelsen of &quot;Hannibal&quot;</p>

Mads Mikkelsen of "Hannibal"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank,' 'Blue Bloods' lead Friday, while 'Hannibal' premieres low

'Enlisted' equals recent repeats for FOX

Fast National ratings for Friday, February 28, 2014.

After three weeks of NBC Olympics dominance, "Shark Tank" and "Blue Bloods"  put ABC and CBS back in their normal positions atop primetime in young viewers and overall. 

In its first Friday airing, NBC's "Hannibal" outdrew its Thursday episodes from the summer, but its premiere numbers weren't appreciably different from recent "Dracula" performances in the same time period.

Meanwhile, "Enlisted" failed to get any post-Olympics bump and an original did the same numbers as recent encore for FOX. Having a lead-in might have helped.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Jeff Probst snuffs David Samson&#39;s torch on &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Jeff Probst snuffs David Samson's torch on "Survivor: Cagayan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Marlins President David Samson talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

Early Brains leader discusses his choices and a fantasy baseball sleeper

I wanted David Samson to stick around on "Survivor: Cagayan" until May. I had Miami Marlins-based humor to scatter through my recaps for months. 

Unfortunately, it was not to be. The President of the Marlins, a position he has held in good years (a 2003 World Series title) and bad (lots of those other years) since 2002, David made his first "Survivor" mistake before his tribe ever made it to camp.

Put on the spot in the opening seconds of the season, the Brains tribe selected Samson as their leader and, seconds later, Samson selected six-pack-wielding poker player Garrett as the tribe's weak link. At the time, he said it was a 39 Day "Survivor" Strategy, targeting an obvious threat. In his exit interview this week, David offers other explanations. 

See, David made an unfortunate enemy with that decision and after the Brains tribe went down in defeat at the first Immunity Challenge, Garrett targeted David and successfully evicted him from the game. Garrett, of course, was blindsided at the next Tribal, so there are no winners here.

In his exit interview, David discusses the problems with a Brains tribe, the problem with his specific Brains tribe and how he could have been clearer about the Garrett decision. We also talk lots of baseball including how he would have liked to trade Garrett to another tribe and which Florida Marlin would be a good sleeper for your fantasy baseball team this year.

Click through for the full interview...

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Credit: CBS

Interview: Natalie & Nadiya talk 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars'

It was only a one-episode run for the Twinnies

Normally the first team eliminated on "The Amazing Race" ends up being pretty anonymous, because it's just too hard for producers to give quality time to so many players in a crowded premiere episode.

Say what you want about All-Star seasons or the specific All-Stars this season, but very few people were ambivalent about Twinnies Natalie & Nadiya Anderson, who earned fans and haters alike for their first season, which included a contentious money incident, some smart U-Turn strategy and lots and lots and lots of yelling.

On Sunday's "Amazing Race" premiere, though, only the yelling was in evidence and even that was half-hearted after a while. Natalie & Nadiya got an early advantage getting on the first of two flights to China, but struggles in a wedding district saw them fall from first to last. By the time they started bickering at the top of the Canton Tower over ferris wheel cars, they were basically doomed, before they got to their first Roadblock or Detour.

In the season's second "Amazing Race" exit interview -- I also chatted with Bopper about his medical departure -- Natalie & Nadiya talk about the mistakes they made, how things might have been different if they'd had allies from their season and the All-Stars they're disappointed they didn't get to race with more.

Click through for the full Q&A...

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<p>Dylan McDermott from &quot;Hostages&quot;</p>

Dylan McDermott from "Hostages"

Credit: CBS

Dylan McDermott sticks with CBS for Kevin Williamson pilot

'Hostages' hasn't been cancelled yet, but it will be

Last spring, both sides of Derbel McDillet shot formally ambitious hostage dramas set in and around Washington, DC.

Dylan McDermott's "Hostages" premiered in the fall to mixed-to-negative reviews and stable-but-miniscule ratings. It hasn't formally be cancelled, but come on. Get real. CBS is going to cancel it. 

That leaves Dermot Mulroney's NBC drama "Crisis." Now "Crisis" hasn't premiered yet, but like many NBC dramas in recent years, one could assume that it will fail. Or one could assume that given NBC's recent semi-hot streak and the stature of Mulroney and Gillian Anderson, that it could totally succeed. Or one could look at NBC's non-football Sunday programming in recent years and assume it's going to succeed.

"Crisis" has become Schrödinger's Derbel McDillet Hostage Drama.

That's my way of saying that Dylan McDermott has signed on for the lead in CBS' untitled Kevin Williamson drama. Dermot Mulroney, however, could not have signed on for a CBS pilot, because "Crisis" is in a box, it's simultaneously a guaranteed hit and a guaranteed failure. "Hostages," however, is a dead cat.

This has been a long day and I'm very sleepy. Click through for more details on McDermott's role. 

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