If host Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars were a little unusual on Sunday, as many critics have claimed, they were also a bigger draw than last year.

Early Nielsen ratings show the Oscar telecast earned a 26.6 rating and a 41 percent share of the TV audience, marking a 4 percent increase over last year's Bill Crystal-hosted affair.

The Nielsen numbers also showed the 85th Academy Awards did well in the key 18-49 demographic, where it drew a 12.1 rating, up 19 percent from last year.

The 2012 Oscars were largely steady from the previous year.