NEW YORK -- While the Grammy Awards couldn't come close to the freakishly high ratings generated in 2012 because of Whitney Houston's death and Adele's smashing success, this year's show had the second-largest audience for the program since 1993.

The Nielsen company said Monday that music's annual awards show was seen by 28.4 million people Sunday night on CBS.

The Grammys this year were packed with high-powered musical moments and, in its awards, celebrated the industry's diversity rather than overwhelmingly honoring one artist. It also had a few water-cooler moments: Which boyfriend was Taylor Swift specifically dissing in her latest performance of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"? Was Chris Brown flaunting his revived relationship with Rihanna?

The music academy's decision to turn the televised Grammys into more of a showcase than an awards show appears to be bearing fruit, too. The show's audience was nearly 2 million higher than the 26.7 million who watched in 2011. From 2005 to 2009, the Grammy Awards audience fluctuated from 17 million to 20 million viewers.

Last year, 39.9 million people tuned in to see how the industry would react to Houston's death just before the awards and celebrate the coronation of its hottest star, Adele, who won six Grammys.

This year's show featured the musical return of Justin Timberlake, collaborations honoring Bob Marley and Levon Helm, and performances by the majority of stars up for major awards.

The Grammys far outpaced the Emmys, which had 13.3 million viewers last September for its more traditional awards show, and the Golden Globes, which had 19.


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7 million viewers in January. The upcoming Oscars usually get more than 30 million viewers.

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LOS ANGELES -- For the Grammy Awards official after-party, celebrants went to India.

Actually, they just went to the Los Angeles Convention Center, right next door to the Staples Center where the 55th annual Grammy ceremony was held, but the space inside was transformed into a Bollywood party.

Belly dancers writhed rhythmically on various stages beneath lanterns and bright pink canopies, while aerial gymnasts dangled overhead. The massive ballroom was dotted with such stages and food stations boasting fare from Asia and America.

The B-52s and Estelle performed, drawing partygoers to the dance floor.

Multiple Grammy-winner Skrillex was among the celebrants, but he made an early exit -- likely to attend one of many private post-Grammy parties planned for throughout the city.

NBC's ‘The Office' wraps in May

LOS ANGELES -- It's only fitting that fans of "The Office" should write the following date on paper: May 16 -- that's when the NBC comedy will wrap its run with a one-hour finale.

In a bittersweet moment, the finale will also mark the comedy's 200th episode.

In its ninth season, the veteran mockumentary comedy (based on the British series created by Ricky Gervais) has been working in plot lines as it nears its end.

The veteran series is one of two Thursday comedies that NBC loses -- "30 Rock" aired its series finale last week. Though it isn't a ratings juggernaught, "The Office" is a strong performer in the scripted arena for NBC.

The loss of both shows call into question how the network will rebuild its Thursday comedy block.

-- The Los Angeles Times