Update: ABC’s overnight Oscar ratings up as ‘Argo’ wins Best Picture

Best Actress Academy Award

Viewership for Sunday night’s ABC telecast of the 85th annual Academy Awards ceremony was up slightly over last year, according to Nielsen’s national overnight measurement of of the U.S. television audience.

The show, which aired from 8:30-11:40 p.m., was seen by an average of 40.3 million, up from 39.3 million in 2012.

Among adults 18 to 49 years old — the demographic most prized by advertisers, the Oscars generated a 13.0, rating, representing an 11% gain from last year.

The viewership of 40.3 million was the largest for an entertainment (non-sports) program in three years.

Aside from a period between 1971 and 1975 when the Awards were seen on NBC, ABC has carried every Oscar telecast since 1961. See The 10 highest-rated Academy Awards telecasts; ’70 show tops list.

“Argo” was named Best Picture of 2012. Best Actor honors went to Daniel-Day Lewis for “Lincoln”; Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook”; Ang Lee was named Best Director for “Life of Pi,” and Quentin Tarantino‘s script for “Django Unchained” was a surprise winner in the Best Original Screenplay category.

— David B. Wilkerson