Rebounding from last year’s record low, this year’s Academy Awards telecast posted a gain its ratings of over ten percent.
According to the Hollywood Reporter –
ABC’s broadcast of the awards averaged 29.6 million viewers, a 11.5 percent gain over a year ago. The hostless show also scored a 7.7 rating among adults 18-49, a 13 percent gain vs. last year. The broadcast was the most-watched entertainment telecast on TV since the 2017 Oscars and the highest-rated non-sports program since the post-Super Bowl This Is Us in 2018. The 2018 awards hit an all-time low of 26.54 million viewers and a 6.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
The uptick in ratings is the reversal of a decline over the last five years. But it should be noted that while this year’s overnight ratings are much improved over last year’s low, they still are not over the 2008 low of just over 32 million viewers that the 2017 ratings broke.
It is not surprising that the program’s ratings were up, given a number of factors that could entice people to tune in. One main attraction was the show’s lack of host, the first time the Oscar’s has gone without a Master of Ceremonies in three decades. The last time the show was without a host, we wound up with the infamous “Rob Lowe dirty dancing with Snow White” incident, and I dare say that some people may have tuned in to see if something similarly wrong-headed would happen this year. Another thing that probably pulled in viewers was the popular film Bohemian Rhapsody, a loose biography of Freddie Mercury, lead singer for the iconic rock band Queen, being in the running for Best Picture. The surviving members of Queen – Mercury died in 1991 – reunited to open last evening’s show playing their hit “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions.” The latest version of A Star Is Born most likely also brought in viewers, especially those anxious to see stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga perform the film’s Oscar-nominated song “Shallow.”
Despite its ratings still being lower than they were ten, twenty or thirty years ago, The Academy Awards is still the most watched show during the awards season. By comparison, the Grammys on posted 19.9 million viewers this year and the Golden Globes only captured 18.6 million viewers.