February 11th, 2013
04:37 PM ET
Despite a show packed with A-list performers, the 55th annual Grammys didn't beat their previous year's viewership.
That would be a pretty tall order, however, since the 54th Grammys included tributes to Whitney Houston, drawing 39.9 million to the awards show.
This time around, the 2013 ceremony was watched by 28.37 million viewers, the second-largest audience since 1993.
Meanwhile, on AMC, the return of "The Walking Dead" set a record.
According to AMC, the mid-season premiere of the third season was seen by the largest audience in the show's history with 12.3 million tuning in.
Those who dipped out of the Grammys telecast for "The Walking Dead" didn't miss anything major, according to critics. The show was fine, if not particularly notable.
"For the first time in too long, the Grammys telecast was a good time in and of itself - a refreshingly coherent celebration of our increasingly incoherent popscape," the Washington Post said in a review. "There were A-game performers, trophy-hoarders who deserved to win them and very few reasons to wince, grouse or wish you were watching 'Downton Abbey.'"
If you disagree, that's just the reality of the Grammys said the Hollywood Reporter: "the Grammys can't possibly appeal to everyone, so these wildly desperate interpretations of who was great and who was dreadful float into the zeitgeist."
In the end,observed the Los Angeles Times, those who were awarded last night "affirmed an old truism: Never underestimate the enduring appeal of well-crafted, easily digestible pop, the kind that doesn't require the winning artists to make solemn acceptance speeches about global warming or indigenous people's rights. Sometimes in music, as a rock 'n' roll troubadour once observed, feelin' good is good enough."
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