ABC's broadcast of the 81st annual Academy Awards averaged 36.3 million total viewers, for a 13 percent larger audience than last year's show, which hit an all-time low of 32 million viewers.
[Cue extended dance number featuring Beyonce.]
All told, this year's Oscars stand as the most-watched entertainment program of the 2008-09 season as well as the tube's most-watched entertainment telecast since Feb. 25, 2007. In turn, Jimmy Kimmel's apres-Oscars outing enjoyed a 16 percent year-over-year gain, from 3.7 million to 4.3 million viewers.
Regionally, Sunday's Oscars played best in the New York market, followed by Chicago and Los Angeles. Mumbai has yet to check in.
Prior to last year's kudoscast, Oscars' smallest draw came in 2003, when 33.04 million tuned in.
What did you think of this year's Oscars — and of Hugh Jackman as host?