The critics might have given Ricky Gervais' hosting performance at the 69th Annual Golden Globes Awards a collective thumbs-down for the most part, but according to preliminary numbers the awards ceremony held strong against last year's buzz-generating awards show.
Airing from 8-11 p.m. on NBC, the Golden Globes averaged a 5.0 in the adults 18-49 demographic, just shy of last year's 5.2, and received 16.8 million total viewers, on a par with last year's 17 million.
The awards show was preceded by "The 2012 Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet Special" at 7,which drew a 3.8/6 in the demo, compared to last year's 4.5/7.
Fox, meanwhile, benefited greatly from the NFL playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants. Though the numbers are approximate because of the nature of live sports, overrun from the game posted the highest individual numbers of the night by far, with a 14.3/35 in the demo and 40 million total viewers, and boosted the network's Animation Domination roster that followed.
The 8 p.m. half-hour, split between NFL overrun and "The Simpsons," posted a 6.8/16 in the demo and 15.7 million total viewers, while at 8:30, a half-hour that was divided between "The Simpsons" and the beginning of the premiere for the new offering "Napoleon Dynamite," received a 4.6/11 and 9.5 million total viewers.
At 9 p.m., with the conclusion of the "Napoleon" premiere and the beginning of "Family Guy," Fox drew a 4.4/10 in the demo with 8.5 million total viewers, while the 9:30 p.m. slot -- divided between "Family Guy" and a special airing of "Napoleon Dynamite" -- drew a 3.6/8 and 7.1 million total viewers. Overall the network drew an 8.0/19 in the demo with and average 20.1 million total viewers.
CBS' night began with "60 Minutes" at 7, which received a 1.5/4 in the demo and 8.7 million total viewers. The premiere of "Undercover Boss" the following hour was down 21 percent vs. last season's premiere in Sept. 2010, with a 3.0/7 and 11.5 million total viewers. "The Good Wife" at 10 was also down considerably, dropping 30 percent from last week to tie its series low with a 1.9/4 and 9.3 million total viewers. The night closed at 10 with a "CSI: Miami" repeat.
ABC's night was similarly marked by downturns, with "America's Funniest Home Videos" at 7 posting a 14 percent decline from last week with a 1.2/3 in the demo and 5.1 million total viewers, and "Once Upon a Time" the following hour slipping 11 percent with a 3.3/8 and 9.8 million total viewers. "Desperate Housewives" at 10 dipped 10 percent and tied a series low with a 2.7/6 in the demo and 7.8 million total viewers, while the network's evening drew to an end with the ailing "Pan Am," which performed flat against last week with a 1.3/3 in the demo and 3.9 million total viewers.