A banner year on Broadway — as well as appearances by Oprah Winfrey and Julia Roberts — helped boost ratings for the 60th annual Tony Awards to the kudocast’s biggest audience in three years.
While still an awards show ratings also-ran, Sunday’s Tonycast on CBS brought in 7.8 million viewers, according to preliminary fast national Nielsen data. That’s up an impressive 20% from last year’s tally of 6.5 million and the best since 2003’s score of 7.9 million.
It was also enough to give the Eye second place in viewers from 8-11 p.m., behind ABC’s broadcast of the NBA Finals.
Demo-wise, Tonys continue to skew older. This year’s broadcast averaged a 1.4/4 in adults 18-49 — ranking a distant fourth for the night and matching last year’s low mark.
Kudos performed better among adults 25-54, notching a 1.9/5. That’s up 12% vs. 2005.
Numbers are nothing to break out in song about, but they still rep a positive trend for a kudocast that’s seen its historically small audience erode even further over the past five years. Between 2001 and 2004, Tonys lost more than 30% of its viewership before edging up ever so slightly last year.
The 2006 Tonys featured no host but instead relied on a slew of celeb presenters paying tribute to the event’s 60th anniversary. Show also featured performances from populist tuners such as “Jersey Boys,” “The Color Purple” and “The Wedding Singer.”
Elsewhere Sunday night, Alphabet’s broadcast of Game 2 of the NBA Finals averaged a 9.1 household rating, according to overnight Nielsen numbers. That’s up 8% from last year’s Game 2.
Over on Fox, a repeat “Family Guy” (3.0/8, 5.9 million) was the night’s top-rated entertainment show among young adults. A special Fox repeat of FX’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (1.7/5, 3.7 million) lost nearly half of its lead-in.
Still, that was enough to make it the show’s most-watched episode ever, more than doubling its FX audience high of 1.4 million viewers.
NBC also continues to get sampling for summer drama “Windfall.” The second repeat of the show’s Thursday premiere — Peacock also ran the pilot Friday — averaged a 2.2/6 among adults 18-49 Sunday at 10, good enough for second place in the slot.
Final national Nielsen numbers will be available today.