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Grammy Viewership Up Slightly, 2nd Largest Since 1993

Every major kudocast now up vs. prior year's show

The Grammy Awards telecast remains second only to the Academy Awards in terms of popularity, with Sunday’s show on CBS drawing a big 28.51 million viewers — up slightly from last year’s 28.38 million and the second largest audience in the last 21 years.

Since 1993, only the 2012 show, which took place a day after the death of Whitney Houston and averaged 39.91 million viewers, drew a larger audience than Sunday’s telecast. This year’s Grammys took place two weeks earlier than usual to avoid airing opposite the Winter Olympics on NBC.

Awards shows in general have thrived during the Social Media era, and this year’s viewership uptick for the Grammys means that the most recent installment of every major awards show — from the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys to the Golden Globes and CMAs — gained viewers vs. its prior telecast.

In both adults 18-49 (9.9 rating/25 share) and total viewers, the Grammy Awards rate considerably higher than these other major awards shows including the Golden Globes (6.5/16 in 18-49, 20.87 million earlier this month on NBC), the Primetime Emmy Awards (4.9/13 in 18-49, 17.76 million viewers overall in September on CBS) and CMA Awards (4.7/13, 16.76 million in November on ABC).

That makes Sunday’s kudocast, in which Lorde, Macklemore & Lewis and Daft Punk were among the big winners, the top-rated entertainment telecast on all of television since last year’s Oscars did a 13.0/31 in adults 18-49 and 40.38 million total viewers.

In social media, there were roughly 15.2 million Tweets sent about the Grammy Awards during the East Coast airing of the show, according to Twitter. The biggest Tweets-per-minute moments were the performance by Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons; Lorde winning the Best Pop Solo award; and Lorde performing.

And the most Tweeted-about stars of the night were Lorde, Beyonce and Taylor Swift.

On Facebook, 6.3 million people had more than 13.5 million Facebook interactions (posts, likes and comments) related to the Grammys.

The top 5 social moments on Facebook were:  Queen Latifah presiding over weddings while Macklemore / Madonna performed “Same Love / Open Your Heart”;  Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons performing “Radioactive / M.A.A.D City”; Metallica and Lang Lang performing “One”; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis winning Best New Artist; and Beyonce and Jay-Z opening the show.

According to Web search engine Bing, it was Katy Perry’s dark and magical performance of “Dark Horses” which featured crystal balls brooms and fire,  that caused the largest spike in searches on the night.

Bing searches spiked early on at the Grammys during Beyonce’s provocative opening performance of “Drunk In Love” when hubby Jay-Z surprised the crowd and joined her on stage. And the continued silence of the Daft Punk robots (while others accepted their awards for record and album of the year) caused the second highest spike in searches.

Elsewhere in primetime Sunday, NBC ran second with its coverage of the NFL’s Pro Bowl all-star game (3.2/8 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), which appears to be in line with last year’s game, which did a 3.3 demo rating in the prelims and grew to a 4.0 in the finals. Last year’s Pro Bowl did not have to face the Grammy Awards, though, making its ratings performance this year all the more impressive.

ABC’s live telecast of “The Bachelor: Sean and Catherine’s Wedding” averaged a 1.6/4 in 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., higher than the 1.0 rating generated in December 2012 by the previous wedding of a couple that met on the network’s dating competition.

Fox aired repeats of its animated comedies, led as usual by “Family Guy” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (1.5/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall).

On CBS, the Grammy Awards telecast was preceded by “60 Minutes” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 14.5 million viewers overall), which featured Steve Kroft’s interview with Jay Leno.

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