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Review Roundup: Did TONY Host James Corden Turn the World Upside Down?


As ratings pour in for last night's 70th Annual TONY AWARDS, it appears that the James Corden-hosted ceremony was a record-breaking night for both the CBS network and the history of American theater.

According to early reports, in the all-important adults 18-49 demo, the broadcast was up 60% from 2015, marking the best demo results since 2003. In addition, in total viewership, the Tony Awards delivered an audience of 8.78 million last night from 8 - 11 PM ET - the best the telecast has done in 15-years. The number marks a 36% increase over 2015.

Let's see what reviewers had to say about the memorable broadcast:

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: In terms of Corden's overall performance as host, it was very much in line with his Late Late Show monologues - sweet and upbeat, if not the least bit risky or cutting-edge. Despite the inevitable longueurs that set in as the evening wore on, for the most part he kept the show moving briskly with affable appearances to paper the gaps. Corden also resisted the urge to put the ham in an evening that was all about Hamilton.

Maureen Ryan, Variety: All in all, the Tony broadcast got the job done in terms of keeping Corden in the public consciousness - but more importantly, the cathartic nature of the musical numbers and a few of the speeches did the helpful, necessary work of channeling a day of difficult emotions.

Amy Plitt, Phoebe Reilly, RollingStone: On a night that was marked by tragedy - and occurring mere hours after news broke of the deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Florida - the Tonys provided a much-needed bit of levity. The performers and honorees didn't shy away from speaking about the shocking events of the day, but the overall mood was one of celebration. Part of the credit goes to the master of ceremonies James Corden

New York Times Blog (various authors): Some history has been made tonight, I think. Have all four musical acting awards ever gone to black performers before? Not to my knowledge. So the Tonys can lord it over the Oscars on that front. And all were well deserved.

Noel Murray, AV Club: I especially want to stand up for Corden's opening song, which I saw getting dinged a bit on social media. It was an old-fashioned, even corny number, to be sure: an earnest salute to musical theater that quoted everything from Guys & Dolls to The Lion King. Corden even joked about the routine toward the end, asking Oprah Winfrey, "Have I ruined the Tonys?"

THE 70TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS aired live from the Beacon Theatre last night on the CBSTelevision Network. Presenters includeBarbra Streisand, Uzo Aduba, Claire Danes,Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, NeilPatrick Harris, Sean Hayes, James Earl Jones,Daniel Dae Kim, Diane Lane, Angela Lansbury,Lucy Liu, Marlee Matlin, Andrew Rannells, Cate Blanchett,Carole King, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Patina Miller, Saoirse Ronan, Oprah Winfrey andBlair Underwood. Below, check out photo highlights from last night's ceremony!

Tony Award winner James Corden, host of THE LATE LATE SHOW with JAMES CORDEN, hosed the awards show for the first time. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the TONY Awards, which were first held on April 6, 1947, to honor theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions, a joint venture of the Broadway League and theAmerican Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys.

Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment return as executive producers. Weiss will also serve as director for the 17th consecutive year.

Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

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