Even though the big Best Picture winner was a French silent film with few recognizable stars, the Oscars likely got a boost in the ratings during last night's telecast, according to early numbers at Entertainment Weekly. ABC's early ratings show a 4% gain in viewership from last year, when 37.9 million people watched The King's Speech win Best Picture. That's far fewer than watched the year that Avatar was up for the top awards-- that was 41.7 million people, the best in recent years-- but we're doing a lot better than we were in 2008, when just 32 million people tuned in for the little-seen No Country For Old Men and its Oscar victory.

The jury is still out on whether last night's Oscars were a success or a failure, but the return of Billy Crystal as a host at least made it feel like the familiar, comforting Oscars many of us grew up with. We're still busy rehashing the Oscars over in our movies section, so you can catch up on the coverage by first checking out the full list of winners, then reading up on the 5 best moments of the awards, and finally what to make of Best Picture winner The Artist, and why it's not nearly as old-fashioned or "safe" a winner as you might think.

We'll be waiting to see how the rest of TV's numbers from last night shake out, but it seems safe to assume that everything pretty much paled in comparison to the Oscars. It's worth noting, though, that as much as people complain about the Oscars being boring and watching them less often, they are always more watched than the Grammys-- including this year, when the Grammys boasted their best ratings in a decade. Say what you will about the movies dying out, but they still prove their value every single year with this massive TV broadcast.

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