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Sunday's Oscars up slightly in early ratings

Click here to see more photos. The critics may have been underwhelmed, but Sunday's Oscars hosted by Billy Crystal rose slightly in the ratings compared with last year.

The telecast, which awarded best picture to "The Artist," delivered a 25.5 household rating/38 share in 56 top U.S. markets, according to Nielsen. That was up 4% compared with last year (24.5 rating/37 share).

The top five markets were New York (36.9 rating), Chicago (33.8), West Palm Beach, Fla., (32.5), Los Angeles (31.9) and Boston (31.9).

PHOTOS: 2012 Academy Awards

Some reviewers felt the program played it too safe. Times TV critic Mary McNamara found the frequent allusions to cinema's glory days "very, very familiar" and felt the program was sometimes slow-moving.

Complete ratings, including total-viewer figures, will be available later Monday.

What did you think of the show?

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Oscars: Complete coverage

Sacha Baron Cohen punks Ryan Seacrest in red carpet stunt

Oscar 2011: Who or what was to blame for low ratings?

--Scott Collins

twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

Photo: Billy Crystal was host of Sunday's Academy Awards telecast. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

 
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