updated 03/08/2010 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/08/2010 AT 1:30 PM ET
Unlike the characters in Avatar, the producers, the network and the Academy behind Sunday’s Oscars should be anything but blue this Monday. Early indications are that the show’s TV ratings were 14 percent better than they were in 2009, when 36.3 million viewers tuned in.
According to early estimates, 40 percent of the nation’s households tuned in to watch Sunday’s Oscars, the Associated Press reports. This year, the ratings have been up for most awards events, perhaps a sign that people are relying on free entertainment at home.
The Nielsen company, which measures ratings, will provide detailed numbers later, but for now the nation’s 56 largest markets gave the ABC event a 26.5 rating. (Each rating point represents 1,149,000 households.)
– Stephen M. Silverman