Oscar ratings up from last year – thanks to a Slumdog?

Dark Knight who?

Or is that your Final Answer?

The 81st Annual Academy Awards were up in household overnight ratings, total viewers, and 18-49 demo from last year. The increases come despite the lack of a big name in the Best Picture category, which Slumdog Millionaire won – as well as seven other Academy Awards.

The movie of course, revolves around a plot featuring the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, a real-life game show import from Britain which took off here in the States a decade ago, making host Regis Phillbin a household name and made the phrase Is that your Final Answer? into pop-culture lore.

Millionaire faded from ABC’s prime-time lineup in 2002 (after the network ran it as many as four nights per week), but has since resurrected itself as a successful first-run syndicated strip hosted by Meredith Vierra.

Here’s how the Oscars fared Sunday night:

– The Oscars drew 36.3 million viewers for ABC, up from 32 million last year.

– Here is a listing of the Oscar household ratings in the ten largest markets, courtesy of Mediaweek and Douglas of PIFeedback.com. (you’ll find ratings for the Barbara Walters special, Jimmy Kimmel, and even NASCAR.) In Chicago, the Oscars earned a 31.6 household rating, up from last year’s 28.5. Chicago’s rating was second only to New York (34.0/51).

– The Oscars recorded across-the-board increases in most demos, including 18-49 (+13%) and men 18-34 (+22%).

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