UPDATE, 1:55 PM: The 85th Oscars had 40.3 million viewers last night in Live+Same Day ratings. Sunday’s Seth MacFarlane-hosted ceremony on ABC slipped ahead of the 39.3 million that watched last year’s telecast, when Billy Crystal returned to headline the show that saw the Hollywood-based mainly silent film The Artist win Best Picture. Not only did this year’s Oscarcast see its viewership go up by 3% compared with 2012, but it rose 11% in the adults 18-49 demo with a 13.0 rating — the 2012 show got a 11.7 rating. Sunday’s show did not beat out the recent viewership record of the 2004 Oscars, which garnered an audience of 43.5 million, but it was the most-watched Academy Awards since the 41.3 million who tuned in back in 2010. Here are some historical data for Oscar viewership on ABC over the past decade or so, along with the Best Picture winner for each year:

2013 40.3 million Argo
2012 39.3 million The Artist
2011 37.9 million The King’s Speech
2010 41.3 million The Hurt Locker
2009 36.3 million Slumdog Millionaire
2008 32.0 million No Country For Old Men
2007 40. 2 million The Departed
2006 38.9 million Crash
2005 42.1 million Million Dollar Baby
2004 43.5 million Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King
2003 33.0 million Chicago
2002 41.8 million A Beautiful Mind
2001 42.9 million Gladiator

Related: Nikki Finke’s 2013 Oscars Live Snark

GiGi Eats Celebrities
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1 year
People thought Seth would be hysterical and bring on the laughs... This is why everyone tuned in....
Kelsey
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1 year
@Tigerbos Keep telling yourself that, dear. It won't ever be true.
Michael Heister
•
1 year
x2

PREVIOUSLY, 6:24 AM: With host Seth MacFarlane, a Best Picture win for Argo and a lot of music, last night’s Oscars were up from the 2012 show. In fact, the 85th Oscars saw the ABC-broadcasted ceremony hitting its highest rating since 2007’s show (see historical data below). Based on metered markets data from Nielsen, last night’s Academy Awards drew an averaged household rating of 26.6 with a 41 share. The 8:30 PM-12:05 AM ET broadcast saw a 4% boost from last year’s 25.5/38 with Billy Crystal hosting. It probably didn’t hurt that six of the nine Best Picture nominees have topped $100 million at the box office this year. The 2013 show was the highest-rated Oscars since 2007’s 27.7/42, when Ellen DeGeneres hosted. Last night’s show hit its peak during the 10-10:30 PM time period, when it popped a 27.5/41. In the adults 18-49 demographic, it received a 15.7/40 in Nielsen’s Local People Meters, also up from last year. Time-period-adjusted fast nationals ratings are expected later this morning, and we’ll update then. In the meantime, check out the historical data here:

2013 26.6/41
2012 25.5/38
2011 24.6/37
2010 26.5/40
2009 23.3/35
2008 21.9/33
2007 27.7/42