The three-hour awards show, which honors the year's achievements in film and television, rose 6 percent in total viewers compared to last year and was up 2 percent in the 18-49 age group most coveted by advertisers, according to early figures from Nielsen Media Research.
The show hosted for a second consecutive year by comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler paid dividends again for NBC as the Golden Globe Awards beat other televised ceremonies such as the Emmys and People's Choice Awards for viewers.
Fey and Poehler, who poked fun at their peers and themselves, have earned critical praise for their performances over the past two years, compared to the mixed reviews for predecessor, acidic British comic Ricky Gervais. The duo have already signed on to host next year's Golden Globes.
Big film winners at the Golden Globes, which are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, were historical slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" and 1970s corruption romp "American Hustle."