NEW YORK (AP) — There's nothing like a lip-synching kitty to juice ratings.
ABC's telecast of the "American Music Awards" reached more than 13 million viewers on Sunday night, up 38 percent over last year's telecast. It was second only to the 2009 broadcast as the most-watched "American Music Awards" in 11 years, the Nielsen company said.
The broadcast's climax featured the ever-newsworthy Miley Cyrus singing her hit "Wrecking Ball" with a giant machine-created cat mouthing the words along with her. She won the dueling diva contest for attention over Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and the big trophy-winner, Taylor Swift.
Among viewers ages 12 to 17, it was the week's most popular program with viewership up 86 percent over 2012, Nielsen said. There seemed little television overlap with the Sunday Night football matchup between Denver and New England, which was the most-watched program for the week with 26.5 million viewers.
CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 9.8 million viewers. ABC had 8.5 million viewers, NBC had 8.4 million, Fox had 5.9 million, Univision had 3.6 million, The CW had 1.5 million, Telemundo had 1.4 million and ION Television had 1.2 million.
ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 3 million viewers in prime time. The Disney Channel had 2.3 million, Hallmark had 2.1 million, USA had 1.92 million and Fox News Channel had 1.88 million.
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.3 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 8.3 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.6 million viewers. For the week of Nov. 18-24, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Denver at New England, NBC, 26.48 million; "NCIS," CBS, 19.66 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 19.61 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 18.94 million; "The OT," Fox, 16.02 million; NFL Football: New England at Carolina, ESPN, 15.77 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 14.99 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 13.8 million; "Football Night in America," NBC, 13.71 million; "American Music Awards, ABC, 13.14 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.