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"The 2001 VMAs were an incredible celebration of the year in music, with live performances that demonstrated the amazing breadth of musical talent on MTV and MTV2."
——Van Toffler, MTV President
MTV’S 18th ANNUAL VMA’S
EARN BOFFO RATINGS
It was the Most-Watched Cable Entertainment Program of the Year
The whole world was watching. Or at least a good portion of it.

MTV's 18th annual Video Music Awards may have been, in the words of channel President Van Toffler, a "train wreck," but it had an awful lot of rubbernecking viewers.

The live telecast from N.Y.C.’s historic Metropolitan Opera House, hosted by Jamie Foxx, was the second most-watched VMAs in the network’s history (persons 2+), earning a 10.6 overnight rating (persons 12-34), trailing only the 1999 awards show, also at the Met. The initial telecast averaged more than 10 million viewers, making it the #1 cable entertainment program for 2001.

The show out-delivered all broadcast networks in primetime, with more 12-34-year-olds tuning into the program than the top 30 cable networks combined. The show also averaged 7 million households, the second-highest total in the program’s history and did especially well with persons 25-34, garnering a 9.5 rating.

Said Van Toffler, after he finished putting away Britney Spears’ snake, "Like many others, we all succeeded in getting our freak on, with an H to the Izzo and a V to the Izay. Seriously, though, the 2001 VMAs were an incredible celebration of the year in music, with live performances that demonstrated the amazing breadth of musical talent on MTV and MTV2."

MTV.com also set records by more than doubling the number of online votes for the VMA Viewer’s Choice Award for the second year in a row, setting an all-time record of more than 5 million votes cast. The online site also received nearly 1 million online votes for the first-ever MTV2 Award, which was presented to Mudvayne, colorfully attired in blood-splattered white tuxes.

Other highlights included Foxx’s aria of the year’s most popular tunes, Michael Jackson dancing with NSYNC, tributes to Aaliyah and Joey Ramone and some pointed commentary of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog from the Conan O’Brien show.

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