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March 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sunday night’s Oscar telecast, together with three earlier half-hours that ABC designated “Oscars Red Carpet Live ­ 1,” “Oscars Red Carpet Live ­ 2,” and “Oscars Red Carpet Live ­ 3,” was all it took to lift ABC from the bottom or near-bottom of the weekly ratings heap, where it has been firmly parked for most of the season, to the top. The Oscars show itself drew 43.74 million viewers, the largest non-sports audience since the series finale of Friends on May 6, 2004 and the largest for an Oscars telecast since 2000. Red Carpet #1 drew “just” 14.76 million viewers; #2, 18.72 million; and #3, 26.92 million. For NBC, the return of The Voice allowed it to segue gracefully out of the Winter Olympics. The season opener on Monday was watched by 15.87 million viewers, while Tuesday’s counted 13.05 million. About 1.2 million viewers separated each of the evening newscasts from one another. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams remained solidly out front with an average of 9.64 million viewers, followed by ABC World News with Diane Sawyer with 8.44 million and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley with 7.25 million. For the week overall, ABC ranked well ahead of its rivals with a 7.1 household rating and a 12 share. CBS followed with a 5.4/9. NBC placed third with a 3.9/6, while Fox trailed with a 2.7/4.