Oscar telecast averages fewer viewers than Grammy show at 39.3 million

Crystal reaching for all the wrong notes

ABC is madly trying to spin the fast national ratings for last night's dreadful Oscar telecast. But this is all you need to know to cut through the bull: The Oscars, which used to be the biggest show-biz event by far on TV, finished second to the Grammy telecast on CBS earlier this month.

I remember a time when it wasn't even close. It was the Super Bowl, Oscars and everything else. But that was before the Academy Awards and their telecast lost any real connection to where our culture is today. Read about that here.

ABC's telecast featuring an out-of-touch Billy Crystal attracted an average audience of 39.3 million Sunday night. The Grammys, meanwhile, drew an average audience of 39.91 million earlier this month.

More important, Sunday's Oscars telecast drew 11.7 rating among young adults (18 to 49 years of age), the advertising sweet spot. The Grammys did a 14.1 rating withg that coveted audience.

ABC is trying to hype Sunday's telecast being marginally up (1.4 million viewers) over last year's. But last year's telecast was also a disaster plagued by huge tune-out.