They like her, they really like her. Or, maybe they just wanted to see what Angelina, JLaw and Jared Leto would be wearing. Either way, whether it was because of Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres' huggable celebrity baiting or the annual fashion parade, Sunday night's 86th annual Academy Awards pulled in 43 million viewers, giving the broadcast its best numbers in a decade, according to preliminary Nielsen figures.
The three-and-a-half hour show, which featured seven wins for "Gravity" and a Best Picture honor for "12 Years a Slave" had some instantly iconic moments, including DeGeneres ordering pizzas for the famished celebs and pulling off the most epic selfie in awards show history.
That might explain why it drew the biggest audience since 2004, when frequent host Billy Crystal oversaw a show that drew 43.6 million viewers and "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" took home the night's biggest prize.
While the DeGeneres lovefest was a far cry from the all-time Oscar high, 1998's "Titanic" 55 million viewers, it did help the show tick up six percent (and 2.5 million viewers) from last year, when Seth MacFarlane turned off many at home with his crass jokes .
The numbers were also up from 2007, the last time DeGeneres hosted, when the show averaged 40.2 million viewers.