Ratings: Grammy Awards Attract Second-Largest Audience in History

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?