Tony Bennet is an American classic, but his birthday party on NBC, something of a throwback to the days of 1960's variety music shows, didn't draw a lot of guests of the Nielsen variety.
In fact, the hour special at 8-9, which teamed Bennett with such stars as Streisand, Michael Buble, Elton John, and K.D. Lang, was the lowest-rated show of the night at a 1 rating/3 share in the 18-49 demo, thrashed by all comers including The CW's Gilmore Girls at double that rating and share.
But music won the night anyway, with ABC's three-hour American Music Awards winning every half hour except the last to power ABC to a 4.7/13 in the demo, according to Nielsen overnight numbers.
Fox was in second thanks to drama House, which was the night's top show at a 6.4/17.
NBC was fourth at a 2.6/11. It's top show was Law & Order: SVU, which built solidly from its first half hour (3.8/11) to its second (4.7/13), beating ABC at 10:30-11.
CBS's new drama, 3 LBS, a sort of combination House and Grey's Anatomy, was something of a lightweight at 10 with a 2.7/8 for third place.
The CW was last with a 1.6/4, but did get bragging rights over NBC at 8.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.