The Golden Globes pulled in another solid audience on Sunday (15 January 2012), drawing almost 17 million viewers and beating all network competition in its timeslot. Though the ceremony was considered a success, the figures dipped slightly from last year, when host Ricky Gervais ripped Hollywood apart with his barbed humor.

The British comedian was back this year, though preceded over an all-together tamer affair. Whereas his jokes in 2011 focused on the troubled past of Robert Downey Jr, the drug addiction of Charlie Sheen and the badly received work of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp - this year saw Gervais target the celebrity status of Kim Kardashian, the love life of Madonna and Depp's long-time partnership with Tim Burton. NBC's promotion of the show had focused mainly on the possibilities of Gervais going up against Hollywood for a third time, though speculation suggests he was asked to tone down his routine from last year. Speaking on his official blog, Ricky hinted the show was his last time hosting the Globes, saying, "Thank f*** that's over. I had a blast actually. It was by far my favourite of the three hosting stints.I've told my agent to never let me be persuaded to do it again though. It's like a parachute jump. You can only really enjoy it in retrospect when you realise you didn't die and it was quite an amazing thing to do".

His toned-down routine appeared to be a hit with the star-studded audience and numerous celebrities applauded and gave 'thumbs-ups' when finding themselves on the end of his jokes. Speaking after the ceremony, big winner George Clooney was quoted by the UK's Metro newspaper as saying, "I thought he (Ricky) was fun. I think people were expecting a lot of trash talk. He did what he does. He makes me laugh. He's funny".