Oscar propels E! ratings

NEW YORK — E! Entertainment Television says its two-hour live pre-Academy Awards show Monday harvested the highest rating in the network’s seven-year history.

The show, which focused on interviews by Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa of celebrities as they arrived at the Shrine Auditorium for the Oscar show, averaged a 2.3 Nielsen rating in cable homes, almost six times as high as the 0.4 rating E! got on a typical weeknight during the first quarter of 1997. The two-hour cablecast also deliv-ered a 20% higher rating than the 1.9 E! chalked up during its pre-Oscar show last year.

E! also came back live at 12:30 a.m. Eastern time for a two-hour round of celebrity interviews following the Oscar show. That latenight cablecast averaged a 0.7 rating in cable homes, 40% higher than last year’s similar post-Oscar program.

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