Ratings: Grammy Awards Attract Second-Largest Audience in History

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Sunday’s Grammy Awards hit all the right notes ratings-wise.

Based on preliminary data, the 54th annual telecast — which featured a moving tribute to Whitney Houston performed by Jennifer Hudson as well as a clean sweep by Adele — drew a staggering 41 million viewers and a 14.4 rating among adults 18-49. That made it the second most-watched Grammy ceremony in history, behind the ’84 show (which drew 44 million viewers).

Compared to last year’s Grammys, which drew 27 million viewers, the 2012 kudoscast was up more than 40 percent in total audience and in the demo.

Grammys 2012: Jennifer Hudson’s Whitney Houston Tribute Tops the Show’s 5 Best Moments

Among the Grammy Awards’ casualties:

* ABC’s Once Upon a Time (with 8.64 million total viewers and a 3.0 rating) dropped 21 and 14 percent, Desperate Housewives (6.3 mil/1.7) fell 15 and 31 percent, and Pan Am plunged 28 and 42 percent (to a CW-like 2.7 mil/0.7).

Recap: Once Upon a Time Spins a Golden Twist

* Over on Fox, The Simpsons (4.3 mil/2.0) was down 14 and 17 percent, Napoleon Dynamite (3.8 mil/1.7) dropped 14 and 19 percent and Family Guy (5 mil/2.5) slipped 16 and 19 percent, while American Dad (3.5 mil/1.7) tumbled 26 and 29 percent.

What were you watching this Sunday night?

Comments (28)

  • Generally I could care less about the Grammys, but I tuned in to see Adele’s return to the stage. I stayed for the Beach Boys, the Whitney tribute, and of course, Sir Paul.

    Comment by Aprilcot26 – February 13, 2012 07:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree. I haven’t watched the overly long production of the Grammys in years (I just read the list of winners the next day), but I watched Sunday to see Adele, Jennifer Hudson’s tribute to Whitney, and Paul McCartney. The finale with some of the legends of rock was awesome and I am surprised that more people aren’t discussing it. There were some missteps also, such as the Glen Campbell portion.

      Comment by VLKinNC – February 13, 2012 07:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’m not even a country fan but thought the Campbell tribute was one of the highlights. For a guy suffering from early Alzheimers, Campbell showed he can still light up a room, and had everyone on their feet singing along.
        While Sir Paul’s closer was great, the new song he played earlier was a complete snoozer. You gotta figure he told organizers he would only appear if he got to do a contemporary song. Too bad.

        Comment by RobG – February 13, 2012 08:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I DVR’d the Grammy’s to see and hear Adele. I don’t usually watch the Grammy’s or Oscars anymore. By DVRing the show I was able to FF thru all the hiphop and rap stuff. Enjoyed the tribute to Whitney and LL Cool J saying a prayer. How amazing, a prayer being said on live TV in CA. Miracles do happen and so sad that it had to be in memory of an amazing singer.

      Comment by marynelle – February 13, 2012 09:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Generally, we could care less about your opinion.

    Comment by Jackson – February 13, 2012 07:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • apart from Adele and Sir Paul those were the WORST Grammys ever! I wanted to cry it was so bad! This is turning into an MTV award show. Grammys were the one music awards you could expect class and good performances. Now all they do is bring second class singers on stage and make a freak show on the red carpet. So help me God, if I ever watch the Grammys again!

    Comment by Deena – February 13, 2012 07:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed! Adele & Paul McCartney’s performances were the only ones that were Grammy worthy. Stevie wonder came out and only sang one little note and that was better than 80% of the performances.

      Comment by Steph – February 13, 2012 09:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s exactly why I don’t watch anymore. It’s not music anymore, with the exception of a few.

      Comment by marynelle – February 13, 2012 09:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I know right? They only had Paul McCartney, the entire lineup of the freaking Beach Boys, the Foo Fighters, Maroon 5, Glen Campbell, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennet and Carrie Underwood.
      What a bunch of second class singers….

      Comment by Doug – February 13, 2012 10:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Adele is the most important vocalist in years. And she’s a lovely woman. But, I find her cheap false eyelashes very distracting. Very Lucille Ball.

    Comment by Toto – February 13, 2012 07:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d rather see her false eyelashes than some of the outfits some artists wore. Those makeup artists should know better. But I didn’t even notice her eyelashes and I usually notice things like that. Her voice just mezmerized me:)

      Comment by marynelle – February 13, 2012 09:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I didn’t mean just on the awards show. She always wears them and they look like they’re one piece of plastic on each eye.

        Comment by Toto – February 13, 2012 03:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Best part= Sir Paul & cie at the end…wow!
    Adele’s return….and the FOO FITHERS
    Worst part= the show itself(too damm long) boring presentators(tired of Ryan Seacrest)
    And Beach Boys…sorry but was weak/old
    Awkward part= sorry JHudson, but I didn’t feel anything…

    Comment by Jules – February 13, 2012 08:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I watched Once Upon a Time. Loved their take on Beauty and the Beast.

    Comment by Kelly – February 13, 2012 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I watched The Walking Dead :)

    Comment by Felicia – February 13, 2012 09:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Me too! I watched Once Upon a Time first and DVRed The Simpsons to watch at ten. Don’t care about the Grammys—I only watch if Godney is going to be there/perform.

      Comment by Snapy – February 13, 2012 11:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Luck out on the Grammys last night because of Adele’s big comeback and an emotional tribute to Whitney Houston. On the other hand, looks like Pan Am is on the brink of cancellation and next week may end up as a “series finale”. :(

    Comment by kevin – February 13, 2012 09:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I watched Downton Abbey but it wasn’t even listed. Is it not on at the same time across the country? Where’s the love?

    Comment by Beth – February 13, 2012 10:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • the DA stats tend to come out later. patience young padawan. (sorry for the lame star wars reference)

      Comment by ladymary – February 13, 2012 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • so nail in the coffin for Pan Am i’m guessing?… granted it was up against the latter portion of the grammys, but thats still pretty awful.

    Comment by cj – February 13, 2012 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The CW should think about picking up Pan Am

    Comment by nina – February 13, 2012 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They did not show pictures of Etta James Don Cornelius and Vesta Williams. They give Diana Ross an award & no tribute. No respect. That is her only Grammy ever. I can not believe they allowed the Nicki Minaj crap. They could of given a jazz artist to perform in that slot. There was no excuse for not having a jazz performance. I wrote on the on the Grammys facebook wall. They have two walls on facebook. I wrote on both. The comments about the show were very interesting. Wish there was a way to make a change.

    Comment by fela – February 13, 2012 11:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There was a tribute to Etta James near the beginning of the show with Alicia Keys and Bonnie Rait.

      Comment by dan – February 13, 2012 01:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I always DVR the Grammy’s and other award shows, so I don’t have to sit through 3.5 hours. Plus I only watch the performances I care about. Which last night, I only watched Adele, Bruno Mars and Jennifer Hudson..

    Comment by Sue – February 13, 2012 12:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • After Bruno Mars’ amazing performance I was keeping vigil for Downton Abbey’s two party, mega fantastic eps. I’ll have to catch the Grammy clips on ytube.

    Comment by Plum – February 13, 2012 12:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Adele was superb, but in my opinion, the Grammys is the worse award show of the year. Was hard to watch. At least 40 million others were bored with me.

    Comment by Rolfe – February 13, 2012 02:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Also, why does ABC air original episodes on Grammy night?

    Comment by Rolfe – February 13, 2012 02:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think I will go out on a limb and say the only reason why the grammys won the ratings is because of Whitney dying and also Adele performing (not a bad thing). I think if those two things weren’t happening the other shows would have way higher ratings.

    Comment by bigdog5758 – February 13, 2012 04:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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