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Oscars Telecast Seen by 39.3 Million Viewers

(LOS ANGELES) -- With Billy Crystal as host, the Academy Awards pulled in a bigger TV audience on Sunday than it did last year.

ABC's telecast of the Academy Awards averaged 39.3 million viewers, an increase of 1.4 million from the 2011 Oscars, which was hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway.  The Artist was named best picture at the ceremony.

The TV audience for the Academy Awards was slightly less than that for the Grammy Awards broadcast on CBS earlier this month.  The Grammys drew 39.9 million viewers, thanks in part to a tribute to the late Whitney Houston.  According to Variety, the last time the Grammys enjoyed a bigger audience than the Oscars was in 1984.

The Jimmy Kimmel special that followed the Academy Awards averaged 5.1 million viewers, his highest-ever total for his annual post-Oscars telecast.  The latest edition featured a star-studded spoof movie trailer, as well as appearances by Oprah Winfrey and Coldplay.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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