Roll over, Hank Williams, and tell Patsy Cline the news: Nashville has a new top music award show.
Sunday's 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards show on CBS drew 15.4 million total viewers, according to early data from Nielsen (final ratings won't be published until Tuesday). It was the first time since at least 1987 that the ACMs beat the same season's airing of its rival, the Country Music Assn. awards telecast on ABC. Last November, the CMAs crooned for 13.7 million total viewers.
This was also the largest audience for the academy show in 15 years, and it was really the only thing any of the broadcasters had going on what otherwise amounted to a slow Sunday night. A substantial number of viewers were already drawn away for the Season 6 premiere of AMC's drama "Mad Men," which gathered 3.4 million.
This time the ACMs were co-hosted by Blake Shelton (of "The Voice" fame) and Luke Bryan, and paid top honors to singer Miranda Lambert, who happens to be Shelton's wife.