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Ratings: Oscars Climb to 40.3M, Draw Younger Viewers (Updated)

Seth MacFarlane leads higher-rated ceremony

UPDATE, Monday 2:06 p.m.:

In adjusted numbers, Sunday night's Oscars ceremony drew 40.3 million total viewers, its largest audience since 2010, and grew to a 13.0 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, an 11-percent improvement in the demo over last year.

The show performed particularly strongly with younger viewers — which was no doubt the goal when "Family Guy" boss Seth MacFarlane was tapped to host this year — growing 20 percent over last year among viewers 18-34 to an 11.3 rating, its highest performance in that demo since 2007.

Jimmy Kimmel's post-Oscars show also improved over last year, growing 15 percent in total viewers with 5.8 million — making it the most-watched post-Oscars episode ever of Jimmy Kimmel Live" — and 9 percent in the demo with 2 million viewers 18-49.


Sunday's Oscars were up 19 percent over last year's telecast, according to preliminary numbers.

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The 85th Annual Academy Awards delivered a 12.1 rating/28 share in the key 18-49 demographic from 8:30-11 p.m., according to the early numbers. The show had 37 million viewers.

The telecast ran until midnight on the East Coast, so full numbers were not yet available. And numbers for live events often change slightly as more information rolls in.

Combined with red carpet coverage, which was up slightly from last year, ABC easily took first place in ratings with a 10.1/25 and in total viewers with 32.4 million.

Fox, which ran repeats throughout the night, drew second place in ratings and third in total viewers with a 1.3/3 and 2.9 million.

CBS took third place in ratings and second in total viewers with a 1.1/3 and 5.7 million. "The Amazing Race," which was the only show to offer competition to the Oscars in the way of original programming, fell off 28 percent from last week's season premiere, hitting a series low of 1.8/4 and took 6.8 million total viewers. The network aired reruns throughout the remainder of its primetime slate.

NBC, which ran repeats throughout the night, shared fourth place in ratings with Univision, taking a 0.8/2 and took fourth place outright in total viewers with 2.8 million, compared to Univision's 2.3 million.