Oscar ratings bounce back for a hostless ceremony
The 91st annual Academy Awards might not have had a host, but they did manage to fair better with viewing audiences than last year. According to Deadline, viewership was up by roughly 14.3% over last year when Jimmy Kimmel served as Master of Ceremonies for the second time. While that’s definitely an improvement, last year’s show had the lowest ratings of any Oscars telecast in recent years.
This also marks the first time Oscar ratings have gone up in ratings in recent years, which could put it about on par with the night Jon Stewart hosted in 2008 — which itself was a sharp decline in viewers from the year prior. For some context: going back to 2001, most Oscars telecasts hover around the 40 million mark. Last year, they dipped to about 26.5 million. When Stewart hosted in 2008, they were around 32 million, down from 40 million the year prior.
Not all markets have reported their ratings as of this morning, and while those that have are still on the lower end of things, the numbers are definitely an improvement. Especially considering that between the season finale of HBO’s True Detective and a new episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead (which is still the highest-rated show on cable despite its own declining viewership numbers), there was some serious Sunday night competition for viewers’ attention.
Aside from the ratings, it was a tumultuous year for the mother of all movie awards shows. After initially signing Kevin Hart to host, the comedian dropped out (due to controversial tweets, naturally), and the show proceeded without a host for the first time in almost 30 years. The show also had some bad PR thanks to its bad calls in announcing some awards would be given out during commercial breaks and that only two of the five Best Song nominees would be performed. It later reversed both of those decisions.