Whitney Houston's death tributes at this year's Grammys have helped to propel the program to ratings a whooping 41% above last years level. According to some rough figures, 39 million viewers watched this year compared to 26.7 million viewers a year ago. FOX, ABC and NBC had no way to predict that Whitney Houston's death would propel the Grammys to such monster ratings levels, and each network got clobbered in the ratings accordingly. FOX experienced series lows for example despite some great new episodes to air.
Each network hoped to draw respectable ratings to satisfy their sponsors demands as well as to post good numbers for February Sweeps. Instead, everyone got smashed in the ratings as huge CBS numbers even pulled 60 MINUTES up significantly.
These huge Grammy numbers were the second highest in history.