The Nielsen Co. says Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony was seen by 16.8 million TV viewers. It beat all network competition in its time period but dipped slightly from last year's audience for the film and TV awards show.
According to time zone-adjusted Nielsen "fast national" figures released Monday, the Globes finished within 1 percent of the 17 million viewers who tuned in to the 2011 broadcast.
Carried by NBC from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time, the program aired live in every time zone. Some western markets also carried an encore telecast immediately following the live coverage.
British comedian-actor Ricky Gervais returned for his third go as host, lampooning many of the nominees, presenters and even the sponsoring Hollywood Foreign Press Association.