Last Night’s VMAs Scored Okay, Not Great Ratings

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The prospect of an 'N Sync reunion and performances by Lady Gaga, Kanye West, and Katy Perry didn't do much to boost viewership for last night's MTV Music Video Awards. The telecast drew 10.1 million viewers, the smallest audience for a Sunday night VMAs since 2009's show (9 million viewers). Tune-in was also well below both the record-setting 12.4 million who watched 2011's VMAs (which also featured performances by Gaga and Perry) and the 11.4 million who watched in 2010 . What's more, while 10 million viewers certainly isn't a small audience, the VMAs only drew about 25 percent more viewers than June's BET Awards (7.7 million) and about 15 percent more than last month's Teen Beach Movie (8.4 million). And it actually attracted fewer viewers than Discovery's June Skywire special featuring Nik Wallenda. On the positive side, the 2013 VMAs did do much better than last summer's telecast, though that was expected: The 2012 VMAs aired on a Thursday, one of only two non-Sunday VMAs during the past decade. Last year's show also aired opposite President Obama's acceptance speech on the final night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Still, the 2013 VMAs can claim one record: Per Twitter, Miley Cyrus's twerk-tastic performance resulted in 306,000 tweets per minute — crushing the previous record 268,000 TPMs set during Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance earlier this year. Yay?