Grammy Awards Score Highest Ratings In Years

Beyoncé wasn’t the only one declaring victory at the Grammy Awards last night; CBS came out a winner, too. The four-hour awards ceremony drew its biggest audience since 2004, with 25.8 million people tuning in to see Fergie strut among robots and Pink twirl through the air. That’s a hefty 35% up from the previous year. So what made the difference?

The music awards show “dwarfed such recent awards shows as the Golden Globes (17 million) and the Emmys (13.5 million),” reports the New York Times. “The Grammys this year were more popular than all of the NFL Sunday night prime-time football games this season on NBC as well as Game Four of the World Series, which was played on a Sunday night.”

So what was so special about this year’s show? Was it the (over)hyped 3D Michael Jackson tribute? Fashionistas fixated on Lady Gaga’s costume changes? The Grammys’ heavy emphasis on showcasing the biggest young artists in the world instead of old fogeys? (No offense, Neil Young—and congrats on your first ever Grammy!) Or were people tuning in on the off chance that Kanye West would make a surprise appearance and provide another catchphrase that we’ll all be over-using  for the next six months? (We know we sorely missed his presence with Eminem, Lil Wayne and Drake in the overwhelmingly bleeped out “Drop The World” and “Forever” performance.)