The Nielsen Co. said Sunday's telecast of the Grammys on CBS was seen by 26.7 million people, up about a million from last year and much more significantly from 2006 and 2008, when the music awards show had around 17 million viewers. For the second year in a row, the Grammys topped Fox's "American Idol" in public interest.
The Grammys are much less an awards show than a performance show, and stars such as Eminem, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, Cee Lo, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and Arcade Fire performed on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, music sales continued to decrease in 2010, with digital purchases not making up for the drop in album sales.
Former "Friends" actor Matthew Perry attracted a healthy audience to check out his new ABC sitcom, "Mr. Sunshine," last week. The show's 10.5 million viewers was second only to "Modern Family" on ABC's schedule last week, Nielsen said.
Fox's "Chicago Code" also had a strong debut, with 9.4 million viewers on Fox last week. The Fox comedy "Traffic Light" barely got out of the garage, however, with 4.6 million viewers for its premiere.
CBS won the week handily, averaging 13.1 million viewers in prime-time (7.9 rating, 13 share). Fox averaged 9.3 million viewers (5.3, 9), ABC had 6.9 million (4.3, 7), NBC had 5.7 million (3.6, 6), the CW had 1.8 million (1.1, 2) and ION Television had 1.3 million (0.9, 1).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with an average of 3.5 million viewers (1.8 rating, 3 share). TeleFutura had 1.3 million (0.6, 1), Telemundo had 960,000 (0.5, 1) and Azteca and Estrella each had 240,000 viewers (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.9 million viewers (6.4, 12). ABC's "World News" was second with 8.8 million (5.8, 11), and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.4 million viewers (4.3, 8).
A ratings point represents 1,159,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 115.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Feb. 7-13, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Grammy Awards," CBS, 26.67 million; "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 24.05 million; "American Idol" (Thursday), Fox, 21.94 million; "NCIS," CBS, 20.35 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 17.16 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 15.15 million; "The Mentalist," CBS, 14.86 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 13.67 million; "Modern Family," ABC, 13.16 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 12.79 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is a unit of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.