Tina Fey and Amy Poehler not only made the Golden Globes fun again, but they also helped deliver the award show’s highest ratings in six years.
Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, NBC’s broadcast of the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards averaged 19.7 million viewers and posted a 6.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demo, topping last year’s show by 17 percent in total deliveries and a whopping 28 percent in the demo.
NBC franchise players Fey and Poehler topped Ricky Gervais’ smarmy, mean-spirited 2012 effort by 2.8 million total viewers and 1.4 ratings points, suggesting that viewers prefer well-crafted jokes to self-satisfied insult comedy.
The Tina and Amy Show kicked into high gear from the get-go, as the duo’s opening monologue had everyone at the Beverly Hilton in stitches. (Um, everyone but Tommy Lee Jones, presumably.)
Poehler got the first big laugh of the night moments into the opening bit when she observed, “Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television.” Bonus yuks were sprinkled on the gag when the director cut to Quentin Tarantino, who fist-bumped Modern Family star Sofia Vergara.
The star of NBC’s Parks and Recreation drew an even more raucous response from the audience when she spoke about director Kathryn Bigelow’s nomination for Zero Dark Thirty. “I haven’t really been following the controversy over [the film], but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron,” Poehler cracked.
By the time the opening segment wrapped, Twitter was alight with fans and converts demanding that the SNL vets take over the host duties for the Academy Awards from Seth MacFarlane.
While Fey and Poehler don’t have a deal in place to host next year’s Globes, it’s hard to imagine that NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt wouldn’t jump at the chance to bring them back for a second run.
Studded between victory speeches by the likes of Ben Affleck (Argo) Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Tarantino (Django Unchained) and Lena Dunham (HBO’s Girls) were moments that clogged up Twitter feeds like Alfredo sauce in a carotid artery. Among them were Jodie Foster’s MYOB not-coming-out coming-out speech, Taylor Swift’s uncharitable reaction (0:23) to Adele’s win in the Best Original Song category and the aforementioned Mr. Jones’ get-off-my-goddamn-lawn routine (3:28) during a Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell bit. (Everyone else laughed, Tommy Lee.)
Meanwhile, on Monday night the latest midseason premiere landed with a dull thud, as the CW’s retro drama The Carrie Diaries bowed to a mere 1.6 million viewers and a 0.7 rating in the 18-34 demo. Despite the advantages of name-brand recognition—the show is a prequel of sorts to HBO’s Sex and the City—The Carrie Diaries was the least-watched CW premiere of the 2012-13 season, trailing the canceled Emily Owens, M.D. by some 70,000 viewers.
While the preliminary Nielsen deliveries do not take into account time-shifted viewing and online streaming numbers, this is almost certainly not the result the CW was hoping for when it green-lit the show.
The half-hour numbers were particularly troubling, as deliveries for the 8:30-9 p.m. segment fell 13 percent from 8-8:30 p.m.
Through the first 14 weeks of the season, the CW is averaging 1.85 million viewers and a 0.7 in the demo, down 13 percent versus the same period a year ago.
Also failing to make a splash is NBC’s new midseason series, Deception. The second installment of the sudsy whodunit averaged 4.14 million viewers and a 1.6 among the 18-49 set, marking a 20 percent drop in the dollar demo.
Decpetion drew roughly half the deliveries time slot precursor Revolution averaged in its second time at bat on Sept. 24 (9.21 million viewers, 3.4 rating). Of course, Revolution had the advantage of a very strong lead-in, care of The Voice (12.2 million, 4.4 in the demo).
Decpetion airs immediately after The Biggest Loser, now in its 14th cycle. Monday’s installment of the reality series averaged 6.32 million viewers and a third-place 2.4 in the demo; as such, Deception effectively squandered one-third of its lead-in.