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2012 Golden Globe TV ratings down a fraction

Johnny Depp and Ricky Gervais
Actor Johnny Depp, left, and host Ricky Gervais talk onstage during the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 15, 2012, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Getty Images

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) If he was going for higher ratings, Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais was disappointed on Monday.

The Nielsen Co. says Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony was seen by 16.8 million TV viewers. While it beat all network competition in its time period, it dipped slightly from last year's audience for the film and TV awards show.

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But last year, ratings for "event" TV hit all-time highs with surges for not only the Golden Globes, but also the Oscars, the Grammys, and the Super Bowl.

According to time zone-adjusted Nielsen "fast national" figures released Monday, the Globes finished within 1 percent of the 17 million viewers who tuned in to the 2011 broadcast.

Carried by NBC from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time, the program aired live in every time zone. Some western markets also carried an encore telecast immediately following the live coverage.

British comedian Gervais returned for his third go as host, lampooning many of the nominees, presenters and even the sponsoring Hollywood Foreign Press Association. NBC promotion for the show last week focused mainly on how outrageous Gervais would be.

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