While it was the talk of social media, last night’s Oscars pulled in the worst ratings of any Academy Awards in history.
The three-hour plus telecast scored an 18.9 Live + Same Day rating and 26.5 million total viewers in early estimates, not just an all-time low but down a whopping 16% from last year which had a 22.4 rating and 32.9 million viewers.
The previous record-holder for lowest Oscars telecast was the Jon Stewart-hosted 2008 ceremony which nabbed a 21.9 rating. However, one big change between then and now is digital. The Nielsen data doesn’t measure the number of individuals that watch the Oscars over digital means and on mobile devices.
Added to which was a best picture line-up with only two movies that earned over $100 million, and the fact that televised awards ceremonies across the board – from the Grammys to the Emmys – have all been down dramatically in recent years as TV viewing habits shift considerably.
The Oscars has also been hit by controversy over some notable omissions from its In Memoriam package this year – most notably “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” director Tobe Hooper, Oscar-winning “The Big Sleep” and “Written on the Wind” actress Dorothy Malone, Oscar-nominated actor/singer Glen Campbell, and acclaimed character actors such as Powers Boothe, Bill Paxton, Adam West, Della Reese, Reg E. Cathey and Miguel Ferrer.
Source: The Playlist