Emmy telecast wins biggest audience in 8 years

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Host Neil Patrick Harris performs onstage during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Nielsen Co. says Sunday's Emmy Awards broadcast scored a one-third audience spike over last year.

From CBS.com: Watch the full telecast and the full red carpet show. Check out red carpet photos, pictures from the telecast, pictures of social reporter Shemar Moore on the job and the complete winner's list

Preliminary ratings figures indicate the 3-hour telecast on CBS averaged 17.6 million viewers, compared to 13.3 million viewers for last year's Emmy show on ABC.

It was the largest audience for the awards show since 2005.

Sunday's broadcast, which aired live across the country, was undoubtedly helped by the network's very strong lead-in: NFL football.

Neil Patrick Harris was host of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, which included performances by Elton John and Carrie Underwood along with several tributes to stars who died this year, including James Gandolfini and Cory Monteith.

"Breaking Bad" won for best drama, while "Modern Family" was named best comedy series for the fourth consecutive year.

Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for best drama series actor for "The Newsroom," with Claire Danes capturing top actress honors for her role in "Homeland."

Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" scored the best male comedy actor honor, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home the best actress in a comedy honor.

What did you think about the 2013 Emmys?