Alicia Keys hosted the Grammys live from LA’s Staples Center. Photo: Francis Specker/CBS

I’m not going to pretend I watched a minute of The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards but a lot of other people did. In Canada, an overnight, estimated 1,790,000 tuned in to the music industry salute on Citytv. In the U.S., despite controversies leading up to the telecast, 16.5 million-plus watched on CBS in initial estimates — down from the year before but still a healthy number in what’s left of the Broadcast universe.

UPDATED TUEDAY: The Programmng Insider moved the U.S. audience total up to 18.7 million viewers according to time-adjusted fast nationals from Nielsen. That makes it the largest primetime audience for any entertainment program this season to date — but still the least-watched Grammy audience since 2008.

Halloween-haired Billie Eilish hauled away four of the top awards, including album, song and record of the year, along with best new artist. Kudos to the kid for making a fashion statement that mocks making fashion statements.

Billie Eilish and Finneas O\’Connell perform Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Otherwise Sunday was a quiet night in Canada in traditional network viewing. CTV countered with two two-hour reality competition imports, America’s Got Talent: The Champions (558,000) and American Ninja Warrior (317,000). Global basically sat out Sunday night with a “Fast and Furious” movie (353,000). CTV2 did not break 200,000 in prime. CBC did, with High Arctic Haulers (213,000), The Fifth Estate (219,000) and, at 10 p.m., The National (336,000).

For us old coots, the Grammys are best enjoyed as a series of colourful CBS stills. Here’s another one, with Rosalia wowing the crowd. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

In specialty, History did really well with an episode of The Curse of Oak Island (783,000), and suddenly red-hot CTV Sci-Fi also boosted their night with a Doctor Who episode (348,000). Showcase also scored with the new CW series Batwoman (266,000).

There were a few oldies in the Emmy crowd, including Cyndi Lauper (above), Shania Twain, Tanya Tucker and even Ozzy Osbourne. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

In a sad night in sports due to the tragic death of NBA great Kobe Bryant, The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs drew 511,000 on Sportsnet National. (A further 106,000 watched the same game on Sportsnet One+.) Meanwhile, the NFL Pro Bowl game on TSN drew an estimated 168,000 viewers. That sounds about right.


Next Sunday: Network TV takes back the night with TV’s biggest draw: The Super Bowl.

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