Country Music Awards a ratings hit

CBS bucks trend of faltering awards shows

CBS felt the rhythm of Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards, winning the evening handily over second-place Fox. The three-hour kudofest won or tied every half-hour and improved over last year’s broadcast significantly.

As with the Grammys, the ACM’s bucked the trend of faltering awards show ratings. According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the ACM’s delivered a 3.8 rating/10 share in the 18-49 demo, with 14.8 million total viewers. That’s up 31% in the demo from 2008 and more than 3 million more viewers. It’s the best demo numbers since 2005 and the most viewers in 11 years.

Fox only offered one original program of the night, an 8 p.m. episode of “The Simpsons” (3.1/9, 6.3 million total viewers), and that was good enough to defeat NBC and ABC.

Despite some critical acclaim, NBC’s “Kings” continues to falter. The Ian McShane-starrer earned a paltry 1.3/4, with 3.6 million total viewers at 8 o’clock, its rating off slightly from last week and overall viewers down just below a million. A repeat of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.2/6, 7.1 million total viewers) was ahead of “Kings.”

At 9 p.m., the Peacock’s two-hour “Celebrity Apprentice” (2.7/7, 7 million total viewers) took a big hit from ACM’s. Rating was down 19% and overall viewers plunged 1.6 million total viewers.

ABC offered a repeat of “Brothers & Sisters” (1/3, 3.8 million total viewers) at 10 p.m., coming in third behind the ACM’s and “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.3/9; Fox, 2.4/7; NBC, 2/5; ABC, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.1/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.1 million; ABC, 5.8 million; NBC, 5.6 million; Fox, 4.9 million; Univision, 2.7 million; CW, 982,000.

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