By Lynette Rice
Updated January 13, 2013 at 05:39 PM EST
David Becker/Getty Images

There she is, Miss America … and the good ratings that can (sometimes) can come with her. ABC’s broadcast of the two-hour Miss America competition lured its best audience since 2004.

During the pageant’s final half hour, some 8.3 million viewers tuned in to see Miss New York take the crown, according to early results from Nielsen. The half-hour earned a 2.0 rating/5 share in adults 18-49. Overall, the pageant averaged 7.1 million viewers, a 6 percent increase over last year’s broadcast, and helped ABC to become the No. 1 non-sports network in the time period in viewers and the key demo. The gals aired opposite the NFC Divisional Playoff game on Fox — which gave the net a huge win — and an overrun of the AFC Divisional Playoffs on CBS.

ABC reports that the pageant viewership grew by 43% from the first half-hour to the final half-hour. It was the most-watched Miss America pageant since 2004.

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