Was it the selfies by Ellen DeGeneres that did it?
Sunday's Oscar telecast on ABC was on track to be the highest-rated since 2005, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
A telecast marked by nods to technology -- DeGeneres, hosting for the first time in seven years, took a smartphone picture of herself watching the audience and later snapped one with big stars -- scored a 27.9 household rating/41 share in the largest TV markets, up 7% compared with last year.
The 86th Academy Awards, telecast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, ran from 5:30 to 8:41 p.m. PST. The historical epic "12 Years a Slave" won best picture.
But not all the critics were charmed by the broadcast. The Hollywood Reporter was scathing, calling the ceremony boring and self-involved and sharply criticizing DeGeneres' work.
Complete numbers, including total-viewer figures, will not be available until later Monday.
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