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Golden Globes ratings flat even with a restrained Ricky Gervais

January 16, 2012 |  1:30 pm

Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes
The critics may have felt that Ricky Gervais was defanged, but viewers apparently felt the Golden Globes still had enough bite.

Ratings for the 69th Annual Golden Globes Sunday delivered an average of 16.8 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.

That was essentially flat with last year's 17 million, when Gervais' hosting caused a sensation with the British comic's barbed jabs at celebrities.

This year, there was little outrage. Times critic Mary McNamara called Gervais "markedly respectful and restrained."

In the crucial adults aged 18 to 49 demographic, the Globes were down 4% to a 5.0 rating, from a 5.2 rating last year.

The Globes are the most-watched award show so far this season, beating out both the Emmys and American Music Awards.

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Complete Golden Globes coverage

-- Scott Collins, twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

Photo: Ricky Gervais hosts the 69th Annual Golden Globes. Credit: Getty Images.

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