CBS’s presentation Sunday night, Feb. 12, 2012, of the 54th Grammy Awards "scored a giant 14.1 adults 18-49 rating and 39 million viewers, up 41% vs. a 10.0 rating and 26.7 million average viewers last season," according to TVbytheNumbers.com, adding, "That was the second highest viewership in Grammy history (1984), and the best adults 18-49 ratings since 1990."
How big is that? As USA Today notes, Sunday’s Grammy numbers even blew away last year’s OSCAR numbers! Last year the Academy Awards telecast was watched by an average of 37.9 million viewers. And given the relatively low box-office numbers of this year’s top Oscar nominees, it is likely that the number of viewers who watched Sunday’s Grammys will beat this year’s Academy Awards telecast as well.
So what was on the Grammys in 1984 that made it the highest-rated Grammys show in history? That was the year Michael Jackson won eight Grammys for "Thriller," USA Today says. That show had 51.7 million viewers.