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Tina Fey, Amy Poehler Draw Largest Audience in 10 Years for Golden Globes


The duo proved to be the perfect pair for the job. And, they're signed up for next year, too.

With the dynamic comedy duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the helm, Sunday night's telecast of the Golden Globes drew in 20.9 million viewers, a 6% increase over last year's show, also hosted by Fey and Poehler. More impressive than that, the awards show, broadcast by NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA), was the most viewed Golden Globes since 2004, the year Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won best picture in the drama category and Lost in Translation won best comedy. There was no host that year, as the Globes never actually had a host until 2010, when Ricky Gervais was hired for the 67th annual ceremony.

Last year, Fey and Poehler were named to lead the show and NBC saw viewership hit 19.7 million, representing a 17% increase from the year prior. The producers of the Globes knew they had something good on their hands, so they signed the dynamic ladies for 2014 and 2015. Yes, Fey and Poehler will return next year as well.

As we all expect from them now, the hosts delivered great jokes and quips throughout the night, with many of the best targeting older, womanizing male actors. In one particular standout, Fey explained the plot of Gravity, saying that the film was about "how George Clooney would rather float away in space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age." Another moment of high comedy, perhaps the funniest of the night, was when Poehler joined Sosie Bacon -- "Ms. Golden Globe" and the daughter of Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon -- as Randy, Mr. Golden Globe and Fey's supposed "adult son from a previous relationship." Dressed in a wig and a tuxedo, Poehler was hilarious. See that bit of the show below:

The increased viewership can perhaps be seen as a success for NBC's push toward focusing more on live television events. The network's most-viewed programming in 2013 included live television events like Sunday Night Football and The Voice, so this approach seems like a natural step for the network. As it happens, last month's live broadcast of The Sound of Music scored 18.5 million viewers, the network's highest viewership since the 2009 finale of ER.

Awards shows play a significant part in the new strategy: In 2014, NBC will air the Grammys, the Emmys, the Oscars, the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, the People Magazine Awards, and the American Comedy Awards, which have not been on TV since Comedy Central aired the show in 2001.

NBC will also air the first-ever commercial space flight this year in a live event program. The network has an exclusive deal with Virgin Galactic to broadcast the company's inaugural journey, with company founder Richard Branson and his children as passengers, during a 3-hour segment on Today.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
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