Say what you will about Chelsea Handler, her hosting job didn't hurt the VMA's ratings.

MTV's annual event drew its biggest audience for any telecast on the network since 2002.

The VMAs had 11.4 million viewers, up 27% from 2009. In the network's 12-34 demo, the show pulled a 10.0 rating, up 33%.

Recent VMAs have shown a marked improvement from the telecast's ratings slump a few years ago, such as when the 2006 music awards drew only 5.8 million viewers. Last year's audience (9 million) was the most-watched since 2004.

The Los Angeles-based show saw Lady Gaga walk away with three statues (in a raw meat dress, no less), as well as Taylor Swift and Kanye West performing new songs.

Though the VMAs lacked a single nuclear-buzz moment, MTV has been riding high this summer thanks to "Jersey Shore" and aired a Season 2 marathon of the reality hit leading up to the awards show's telecast.