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February 09, 2009

Tuning up good Grammy ratings


Sure is easy to poke fun at the Jonas Brothers -- go ahead, everybody does it -- and teen queens like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.

But it looks like they were at least partly responsible for pulling in some eyeballs for the 51st annual Grammy Awards on CBS on Sunday night. And those would be the important, advertiser-coveted eyeballs (18-34 years old), not the jaded old out-of-the-demo eyeballs (you talkin' to us?).

84697911 Not only did the 3 1/2-hour show do well in the ratings overall to the tune of 19.1 million viewers, an increase of 2 million people from last year's record low, but it bumped up its 18- to 34-year-olds by 23% and its 12- to 17-year-olds by 30%.

The lineup of A-list musicians, young and "heritage," pop, rock, hip-hop and country and the full-scale marketing attack by the Recording Academy couldn't have hurt. Neither did the lead-in, which was the "60 Minutes" interview between Katie Couric and the crew from Miracle Flight 1549 where pilot Sully Sullenberger became the Hero on the Hudson.

But don't relax, Oscar producers. This doesn't necessarily mean viewers are over their awards-show fatigue. It just means they had a hankering for T.I., Justin Timberlake, Estelle, Kenny Chesney and/or Katy Perry (dancing in a giant gold lame banana). And you don't have any of those folks. Do you?


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celebrities exposed

My vote is for Nelly Furtado. She is the best.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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