Last year, MTV received a bit of an, ahem, reality check when its biggest annual night of music programming took a nosedive in the ratings department. Viewership for the Video Music Awards fell by half between 2011 and 2012, landing at a pretty piddling 6.1 million. But Sunday night’s Miley Cyrus-assisted ceremony drew in an impressive 10.1 million sets of eyes — that’s a 66 percent leap for the show, which has been the subject of headlines all day.
This was the first year that the VMA were hosted at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and the move came with a redoubling of the network’s promotional efforts, according to Billboard. On top of that, the list of confirmed talent for performances was particularly buff: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Kanye West. Oh, and Cyrus got on stage too but no one really noticed.
MTV also made good on the rumors that Timberlake would bring with him an ‘N Sync reunion, and that Daft Punk would do something since they were evidently blocked from appearing on The Colbert Report. Jennifer Hudson also showed up to sing on Macklemore’s ode to marriage equality, “Same Love.” The latter, of course, was among the night’s big winners alongside Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Pink, and others.
Oh, and Miley Cyrus was there. Billboard also reports that her performance with Thicke drew the biggest instantaneous Twitter response of the night, with over 306,000 related tweets per minute. It’s safe to guess that the hubub inspired others to tune in during the broadcast.