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Grammy Awards Wins Ratings Race for CBS

The 52nd annual Grammy Awards were the show’s highest-rated telecast since 2004. According to time-zone adjusted national ratings from Nielsen, viewership for the telecast with a heavy emphasis on fan favorites Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Taylor Swift , entertained an average audience of 25.8 million in prime-time, up about 35% from a year earlier.

Among advertiser-beloved 18- to 49-year-olds, Sunday night’s show generated a 9.8 rating, up 32% year over year. Likely working in its favor: host network CBS strived to bridge generations (and capture a broader audience) with a series of duets, including Lady Gaga and Elton John and Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks, as well as a 3D tribute to Michael Jackson.

“Celebrity obsession is at an all-time high,” said John Rash, an analyst for ad firm Campbell-Mithun, and the Grammys provide “an easy, accessible escape.”

Brad Adgate, an analyst for Horizon Media, said producers have “caught up with the public taste. . . . They’ve cut the material that turns off viewers, like the banter” presenters have sometimes engaged in before handing out awards.

Prime-time viewership numbers are compiled by the Nielsen Co. for the week of Jan. 25-31.

Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. “Grammy Awards,” CBS, 25.87 million.

2. “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 25.71 million.

3. “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 24.45 million.

4. “NCIS,” CBS, 20.22 million.

5. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 16.94 million.

6. “House,” Fox, 14.21 million.

7. “Bones,” Fox, 12.331 million.

8. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 12.328 million.

9. “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 12.07 million.

10. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 11.5 million.

11. “The Bachelor,” ABC, 11.47 million.

12. “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 11.44 million.

13. “The Mentalist,” CBS, 11.07 million.

14. “24,” Fox, 10.81 million.

15. “Castle,” ABC, 10.55 million.

16. “The Good Wife,” CBS, 10.02 million.

17. “The Biggest Loser 9,” NBC, 9.71 million.

18. “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 9.55 million.

19. “Human Target,” Fox, 9.26 million.

20. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 9.15 million.

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