CBS’ “The 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors” special reached 5.34 million viewers on Wednesday, making it the night’s No. 1 show in total viewership, according to final national figures showing live and same day numbers from Nielsen.
With an 0.7 rating among the 25-54 demographic between the hours of 8-10 p.m., the episode earned the show’s highest ratings since December 15, 2019.
Beating its closest time period competitor by over 1.8 million viewers, this year’s special won each of its half hours in total viewers. The figures also reveal the “Kennedy Center Honors” held a solid audience throughout the two-hour program. Audience numbers grew in the second half hour with 95% of its audience staying from 9 p.m. half hour. Overall, the “Kennedy Center Honors” was up over 25% in viewers from the previous year, which recorded 4.28 million viewers.
On the streaming side, the special ranked as the No. 1 most live-streamed entertainment program on Paramount+. It additionally appeared on CBS TVE, which includes the CBS app and CBS.com.
On social media, according to CBS the special recorded 225M potential impressions and 10K mentions over the last two days – which is a 12% increase in potential impressions and 25% jump in mentions from last year’s ceremony. The special’s hashtag, #KennedyCenterHonors, trended in the top 10 on Twitter in the US last night and peaked at No. 7.
This year’s ceremony, which was filmed on Dec. 4, featured appearances from actor George Clooney, who was honored alongside singers Amy Grant and Gladys Knight, Tania León and U2. Highlights from the night included a U2 tribute featuring Harry Styles, Beyonce, Billie Eilish, Sean Penn, and an appearance from Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat, who read a fake letter from the Kazakhstani president.
Other notable names in attendance included Eddie Vedder, the Highwomen, Julia Roberts, Richard Kind, Matt Damon, LL Cool J, Garth Brooks and Patti LaBelle, among others.