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Tonys show gets lowest ratings ever

Despite the addition of such Marquee names as Nicole Kidman and Tony Bennett, the 58th-annual Tony Awards telecast on CBS hit an all-time audience low Sunday night with only 6.6 million viewers.

Last year, the telecast was seen by 7.86 million viewers, with 7.98 million watching in 2002. The telecasts started in 1967.

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This year's Tony telecast, with Hugh Jackman as host, found itself up against especially stiff competition with HBO offering the season finale of The Sopranos and ABC carrying the National Basketball Association's championship series between Los Angeles and Detroit.

The NBA audience was almost double that of the Tonys with an estimated 13 million viewers. Because audience measurement of premium cable channels is a more complicated matter, ratings for The Sopranos are not expected until later today, according to HBO.


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