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ACM Awards Ratings Peak During Miranda Lambert, Aldean, Reba Performances

She might not have won Entertainer of the Year, but Miranda Lambert won several other awards at Sunday’s 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony.

She also performed during the night’s highest-rated and most-watched segment.

Per fast national data, the 9-9:30PM half hour, which featured performances by Lambert, Jason Aldean and Reba, was the night’s best performing segment.

Also host to Little Big Town’s win for Vocal Group of the Year, the half hour drew a 4.1 adults 18-49 rating with 17.31 million viewers.

Insofar as awards shows (and television viewership in general) tend to peak between 8:30 and 10:30PM, there is a limit to the causality one can ascribe to Lambert, Aldean and Reba. The fact that it did outperform those other prime half hours (in addition to the night’s other segments) still warrants a feather in the cap.

That it aired opposite HBO’s popular “Game of Thrones” renders its performance–and that of the 9:30-10PM half hour–worthy of additional credit.

The 9:30-10PM half hour, which featured performances by Little Big Town, Cole Swindell, Thomas Rhett and Blake Shelton and the Taylor Swift Milestone Award presentation, drew a 4.0 adults 18-49 rating. It was the night’s second-highest-rated half hour.

Its viewership total of 16.36 million, however, trailed those attained by the 8:30-9PM and 10-10:30PM half hours.

Responsible for a 3.7 rating with 16.96 million viewers, the 8:30PM section featured performances by Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride and Luke Bryan. It also included Florida Georgia Line’s Vocal Duo of the Year win.

The 10PM section scored a 3.9 with 16.40 million viewers and included performances by Christina Aguilera & Rascal Flatts and Garth Brooks (and the beginning of Kenny Chesney’s medley). It also featured Miranda Lambert’s wins for Album and Female Vocalist of the Year and Cole Swindell’s victory for New Artist of the Year.

Sunday’s ACM Awards broadcast opened with a 2.9 and 15.29 million viewers in the 8-8:30PM half hour. That portion featured performances by Eric Church and Keith Urban, George Strait and Florida Georgia Line. It also saw Miranda Lambert win for Song of the Year.

The show drew a 3.5 with 14.72 million viewers from 10:30-11PM. The half hour included the end of Chesney’s number and complete performances by Lady Antebellum and Nick Jonas & Dan + Shay. Jason Aldean and Lee Brice also won for Male Vocalist of the Year and Single Record of the Year, respectively.

Precise demographic data is not available for the 11-11:30PM portion, but its viewership total registered at 13.37 million. It included performances by Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, and Darius Rucker & Brad Paisley. Luke Bryan’s Entertainer of the Year win also came within the final half hour.

In all, the show averaged a 3.6 with 15.77 million viewers.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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