Ricky Gervais has said that his third go-round as host of the Golden Globes would be his last. And while his latest Hollywood-tweaking gig on Sunday night didn't draw the same headlines as last year's scorched-earth takedown of Tinsel Town pomposity, ratings for the broadcast were steady.
According to Nielsen figures, the 69th annual Globes was seen by 16.8 million viewers, which is just below the 17 million who tuned in last year. And though some critics dented Gervais for being more controlled than he was last year, the Globes has already set the high-water mark for awards programs so far this season, beating out both the American Music Awards and the Emmys.
MTV's Movies team gave Gervais both a thumbs up and down on his performance, praising him for "winning over Hollywood frenemies and delivering a very funny opening monologue." But there was some bad news as well: "The comedian might have talked a big game heading into the show, but Gervais' performance was a restrained one after last year's hullabaloo. What's great about the comedian is how he coats a witty mean-spiritedness with kindly, winking, you-know-I-still-love-you sugar. When your biggest dig is a fish-in-the-barrel attack on 'The Tourist,' you know you've caved to the worrywarts in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association."
With big wins for George Clooney for "The Descendants" and a boost for the silent film "The Artist," both movies solidified their spots as front-runners of the awards season.