The February 24 ceremony hosted by Seth MacFarlane drew 40.3 million viewers, up 3 percent from the 2012 Academy Awards.
The 85th annual Academy Awards drew big ratings for ABC which broadcast the show on Sunday night, February 24. The prestigious prize-giving event posted an average of 40.3 million viewers and a 13.0 rating among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen.
It is up 3% from 2012 in total viewers and rises even bigger, 11%, in the demo compared to last year's ceremony hosted by Billy Crystal. It marks the second most-watched Oscars telecast since 2005 and tops other big award shows this season, including the Golden Globe Awards and the Grammy Awards.
This year's Oscars had "music in film" as its theme and featured a tribute to James Bond film franchise which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Host Seth MacFarlane was criticized for his jokes, but he proved to be effective to lure younger audience.