The 1999 Tony Awards broadcast on CBS slipped sharply in the rating from the 1997 and 1998 ceremonies, when hostess Rosie O'Donnell carried the show to record peaks. The show posted a 7.9 rating and a 13 share in the overnight numbers, in 45 markets. That number were lower than the 1996 ratings of 8.3 (also with a 13 share). In 1997, the show touted an 11.2 rating and a 17 share, its best showing in 10 years. The following year, the Tonys registered a 10.3 rating and a 16 share. In recent years, the combination of hostess Rosie O'Donnell and venue Radio City Music Hall seemed to do the trick for the once-beleaguered awards ceremony.
A single rating point represents 980,000 households, which translates into some 10 million homes taking in the Tonys. A share shows the percentage of televisions being used at the time.
-- By Robert Simonson