Sunday's Oscars up slightly in early ratings
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).
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.
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Photo: Billy Crystal was host of Sunday's Academy Awards telecast. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press