Dull Oscars Ratings Up, Yet Down

Sunday night’s Oscars saw a very minor uptick in the ratings but was still in a slump.

Around 39.9 million U.S. viewers tuned into the broadcast, up a million from last year’s show (38.8m), but still less than the 40% share the show always stayed above before 2003 and down from the Chris Rock-hosted 2005 ceremony (41.5m).

Host Ellen DeGeneres received very split reviews, albeit the majority were in the negative. Most of the debate was over her self-deprecating but all too low key and safe comedy routines which were generally dubbed “cheery but bland”. Her flat introduction in particular drew the harshest criticism – again mostly due to its sheer flatness.

She fared better than the production itself though which was widely panned as one of the dullest and seemingly longest Oscar ceremonies in recent histories.

Various sections drew confusion (Mann’s montage, the silhouettes), quite mixed reaction (Ferrell/Black/Reilly singing), praise (Seinfeld, Al Gore), outright hatred (penguins, Celine Dion). Will Ellen be invited back? Difficult to tell right now.