With big performances, a mass wedding and Pharrell Williams’ giant hat getting much of the attention, the Grammy Awards drew their second-biggest audience in 21 years Sunday night.
The 56th Grammy Awards took in an average of 28.5 million viewers to CBS over three hours and 45 minutes, according to Nielsen.
That’s up slightly from the 28.4 million people who viewed last year’s gala, but well below the record of 40 million who watched the 2012 show that aired after the death of Whitney Houston.
Sunday’s telecast earned a rating of 9.9 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 age group, down about 2% from last year.
Just 10 awards were presented during the marathon show, which was dominated by high-profile collaborations, some obvious (Beyonce with Jay Z) and some less so (Metallica with flashy pianist Lang Lang, and Robin Thicke with Chicago).
Daft Punk, the masked electronic duo from France, left with the honors for album and record of the year. The night was also notable for a wedding staged during a performance of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ gay rights anthem “Same Love,” during which 33 couples were married by Queen Latifah.
Time zone-adjusted numbers for the NFL Pro Bowl on NBC have yet to be released, but it’s clear that the Grammys were the top show on television last night, pushing down the competition on Fox, where all the network’s animated comedies were down from last week.
ABC’s “Bachelor” wedding of Sean and Catherine drew 6.14 million viewers and a rating of 1.6 in the key 18-to-49 age group, up 60% from 2012’s wedding of Ashley & JP from “Bachelorette."
[UPDATE: This post has been updated to include ratings data for the key 18-49 age group.]