James Franco and Anne Hathaway

Viewership for the 83rd annual Academy Awards telecast on ABC fell nearly 10 percent from last year, according to preliminary Nielsen figures.

Overnight ratings showed an average of 37.6 million people watched Sunday night's show. Some 41.7 million people tuned in last year's ceremony.

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Despite the attempt to lure younger viewers with James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosting, ratings among the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic declined 12 percent, Nielsen reported.

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The ratings also may have reflected generally negative reviews for the co-hosts and the show itself.

Fox and NBC conceded the night with reruns, while CBS aired first-run offerings of 60 Minutes (8.4 million viewers), Amazing Race (7.6 million) and CSI: Miami (8.2 million).