2ND UPDATE: In the final Live+Same Day ratings, the audience for last night’s Grammy Awards climbed to 39.91 million, still the second largest ever behind the 1984 show, up 50% from last year. The adults 18-49 average was adjusted down to a 14.1/32, up 41% from last year.
UPDATE: With its timing, exactly 24 hours after the news of Whitney Houston’s death, the Grammy Awards were poised to draw a huge audience on CBS. And they did. The show averaged 39 million viewers, the second most watched Grammy telecast ever, behind only the 1984 show (43.8 million). Vs. last year, when the Grammy posted their largest viewership in a decade, the awards show was up an remarkable 46%. Among adults 18-49 (14.4/32), it was up 44%, matching its best result since 1990. The ceremony included numerous references to Houston’s death, including a prayer read by host LL Cool J and a tribute performance of “I Will Always Love You” by Jennifer Hudson. Adele was the big winner of the night with six gramophones, including the top awards for record and album of the year, and delivered her first performance since her throat surgery. The other network stayed mostly out of the way with the exception of ABC. Its America’s Funniest Home Videos (2.0/5 in 18-49) was actually up 5% from 2 weeks ago. But Once Upon A Time (3.0/7), Desperate Housewives (1.8/4) and Pan Am (0.7/2), which faced directly the Grammys, were all sharply down, by 14%, 31% and 42%, respectively. Desperate Housewives and Pan Am posted series lows. NBC’s Dateline (1.6/4) was up 33% from 5 weeks ago. A special (and possibly final for this incarnation on NBC, following the donkey semen stunt debacle) Fear Factor (1.5/3), which was put on so Celebrity Apprentice doesn’t launch against the Grammys, was down 35% from its last Monday original.
PREVIOUS: According to overnight ratings from 56 markets, the Grammys averaged a 25.2 household rating/38 share, up 45% from last year, which could translate into the largest viewership in some 2 decades.