UPDATE: Oscars Viewership Best Since 2000; 'Kimmel' Post-Oscars Special Snags Best Ever Results

Oscar_badge__1403022122322nd UPDATE, 7:55 AM: Awards season may be over for now but numbers for the  Oscars are still coming in – and they are going up. Based on the latest figures from Nielsen, Sunday’s 86th Annual Academy Awards had a total viewership of 43.7 million with a 13.1/33 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a small rise from the previous figure of 43.0 million viewers and a 12.9 rating among the key demo. That result, which is up 8% from 2013, also makes the 3-hour and 34-minute 2014 Oscars the most watched Academy Awards since 2000 when 46.53 million tuned in. Hosted by Billy Crystal in his seventh stint as Oscars frontman, that 4-hour 4-minute show saw American Beauty take home the Best Picture award. Among the 18-49s, the new rating makes this year’s Oscars the highest rated in the demo since 2010. 

1st UPDATE, 10:45 AM March 3: The 86th Annual Academy Awards was watched by 43.0 million viewers last night. Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres for the second time in seven years, the Oscars telecast was up 6% from the 40.3 million who tuned in last year, when Seth MacFarlane fronted the live ceremony for ABC.

Though the jump seems small, last night’s viewership is actually the best Hollywood’s big night has done since the 43.5 million that watched in 2004 when Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King took the Best Picture Oscar. OscarRatings1(See chart at left.) Among adults 18-49, last night’s show had a 12.9 rating for the more than 3-hour event that saw Beat Original Song performances from U2, Pharrell Williams, Karen O and Frozen’s Idina Menzel and 12 Years A Slave take Best Picture. The demo result was just a hair under than the 13.0 fast national that the 2013 Oscars saw. (See full chart below.)

abc46Coming on right after the big show for a ninth year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars was up 22% in total viewers and 20% in the key demo over last year, good for its best ever post-Oscars performance. With past Oscar winer Kevin Spacey among his guests, Kimmel was watched by 6.993 million viewers overall with 2.423 million in the demo. With those numbers and a heavily hyped show tonight featuring scandal-heavy Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Kimmel could see some serious traction in the already tightening race at 11:35 PM with Jimmy Fallon’s new Tonight Show. 

Oscars Overwhelm Oympics, Thrash ‘Walking Dead’ In Ratings
Column: Ellen Gets Mixed Reviews

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowPREVIOUS, 6:34 AM: With a couple of pizzas, some hit tunes and a celeb-heavy selfie that took Twitter by storm, looks like the second time is a small Oscars score for Ellen DeGeneres and ABC. As the talk-show host fronted Hollywood’s big night once again after seven years, the live 86th Annual Academy Awards drew a 27.9/41 in metered-market ratings last night from 8:30-11:30 PM. That is up 7% from the 26.1/41 that the ceremony got last year on February 24, 2013 with Family Guy creator and Ted director Seth MacFarlane hosting in the comparable time-period. It’s also up a tad from DeGeneres’ last stint hosting the Oscars on February 25, 2007, which got a  27.7/42.  Not only did last night’s 3-hour and 35-minute total running time show just beat last year’s show, which ultimately pulled a 13.0/31 fast national rating among adults 18-49 and 40.3 million viewers, but it was the best Oscars in terms of metered-market results since 2005’s 30.1/43 metered market results (check out the historical data below). Also up year to year was Jimmy Kimmel’s post-Oscars special. Last night it posted a 9.5/23 in households and a 4.2/17 in 18-49 in the metered markets, up sharply from last year’s 4.8/15 and a 2.1/11.

(UPDATE, 8:45 AM: The preliminary fast nationals are in and the Oscars got a 12.1/29 among adults 18-49 with 40.2 million watching form 8:30 PM to 11 PM. That’s even from the 12.1/28 in early fast nationals that the 2013 Academy Awards had among the key demo but up 9% in viewership from the 37.0 million that the Seth MacFarlane-hosted show had. Last year’s demo rating went up to 13.0 and it’s audience rose to 40.3 million when the final time-zone adjusted numbers for the live event came in.

Besides the Oscars and the Oscars Red Carpet Live! 90 minute pre-show, which was steady with last year, almost everything else on primetime was a repeat last night. Except on CBS. Like last Oscars, the network had a new Amazing Race on at 8PM last night. With a 1.5/4 among adults 18-49, that’s even with last week’s series low episode that was up against the Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony. However the reality show was down last night from the 1.9/5 that it got against the 2013 Oscars on February 24 last year. Amazing Race was also down in viewership from the comparable night last year with an audience of 6.04 million compared to 2013’s 6.95 million.)

As 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture, Alfonso Cuaron got Best Director for Gravity and Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey and Blue Jasmine‘s Cate Blanchett took home the top Actor and Actress awards, last night’s show hit its peak in the 10:30 PM time period when it topped out with a 28.7/44. In terms of adults 18-49, the Oscars received a 16.2/39 in Local People Meters, according to Nielsen. That’s up a touch from the 15.7/40 that last year’s Academy Awards garnered. We’ll update with fast nationals and the time-period-adjusted final Oscar numbers when they come in later today. In the meantime, here are the metered-market results over time:


  1. Ellen put me to sleep. Nobody cares about liberals in Hollywood giving themselves awards. The show was boring.

    1. You have to be an idiot to claim no one cares about liberal Hollywood awards after admitting in your opening statement that you actually watched the show. There’s nothing reasonable in such an asinine group of short declarations. Make a real statement. Don’t watch and don’t post comments about the Oscars if you truly don’t care. Not that it would matter, 43 million viewers is still insane and one for the history books.

      1. Dear voice of reason / bitterness,
        Actually, people do apparently care about Hollywood liberals giving themselves awards. Do you think millions of people would tune in for “The Republican Citizenship Awards” or the “Fox News Christian Film Awards?” These evil Hollywood liberals you abhor so vehemently are very pretty to look at, wearing nice little dresses and tuxes, and involved in movies that lots of people saw and enjoyed. So go eat a dick and troll somewhere else.

  2. Do the ratings take into account how many people tuned out and switched to other channels during the telecast because I bet a heck of a lot more viewers were forced to tune out this year relative to last year. Ellen had me on the edge of my seat passing out from playing-it-safe boredom while at least Seth had me on the edge of my seat waiting for what he’ll do next.

  3. “Liberals giving themselves awards”

    Uh… Why exactly did you waste your time trying to watch? Honestly, the FOXNews crowd continues to baffle me. I have never seen a group of people spend so much time watching, thinking, and discussing things they hate in life. I assure you, if you got up off your couch and tried living your life while experiencing and talking about the things you like about the world, rather than defining yourself by what you hate, you would be a far happier person.

    1. Hear, hear. Enough with the “Ooh Hollywood you so liberal it makes me angry!” comments. Like that’s going to do anything.

      Get out there and find stuff you love!

    2. “I have never seen a group of people spend so much time watching, thinking, and discussing things they hate in life.”

      Except of course all of the Fox News haters who bring it up every chance they get, even though they never watch it. Funny how its the most watch cable news network though with no one watching.

      1. Foxlovers have nothing on so-called “Star Wars fans”. WAH RAPED CHILDHOOD WAH WHATEVER SHOT THIRD WAH JAR JAR ABRAMS WAH. They only express their misguided fandom through hatred. It’s beyond tired.

    3. “I have never seen a group of people spend so much time watching, thinking, and discussing things they hate in life. I assure you, if you got up off your couch and tried living your life while experiencing and talking about the things you like about the world, rather than defining yourself by what you hate, you would be a far happier person.”

      Says the guy ranting about what he hates, followed by another guy doing the same…meanwhile the first guy was just giving his opinion on the actual topic. Defensive much. lol.

  4. Ellen was AWESOME, funny and witty. Considering all the guidelines and restrictions, she did an amazing job. People who are critical of others……see if you can stand up to millions of viewers, the best of the BEST ACTORS in the world, and be funny and captivating!!! Honestly, it’s a job many canNOT do. You can’t make everyone happy, but appreciate the laughter.

  5. I spent my time way more productively than watching the Oscars. I watched The Walking Dead and True Detective.

  6. Anyone stating that the producers and/or Ellen did a fine job have low standards for what is supposed to be the jewel of awards shows and one of the few annual main events for television. The show and Ellen were inexcusable for such a drab and utterly tepid performance. No one in their right mind can say that those responsible for last night’s debacle should return next year.

    1. Your comment is spot-on and I felt the exact same way. Thank you for doing a great job in articulating what a mediocre event this was. Hopefully, the producers will listen and change-it-up by retiring Ellen back to daytime TV….

  7. Why does politics have to come into it? It was refreshing to watch an Oscar telecast where there was no mention of politics. Yet someone needs to make a comment about liberals. Get over it buddy. I’m conservative, but I’m a movie fan, and I enjoy the Oscars. Ellen did a good job. Good monologue, and a few good jokes throughout the show. The selfie thing was cool,the pizza thing was a little much. Overall I’d give her a B+. Solid job.

  8. Oscar viewership at 10 year high seems very hard to believe. Changed the channel after the pizza bit. Glad I heard Leto’s acceptance, acknowledging people struggling in other parts of the world who have more important things on their mind than the Oscars. Isn’t the notion that Ellen had to tweet a photo of “movie stars” out in order to get some attention (from a younger demographic) mean something? Meryl Streep was cute and that made it fun for me, but otherwise it smacked of desperation. Same with the pizza. The Oscar may still be an important token of achievement, but the ceremony should no longer be televised. I would only watch it again if it was cut to one hour and they showed only the best actor, director, writing, best picture. The movies themselves are great, saw many of them, but I can’t bear to endure such a long, congratulatory telecast ever again. Why not do an evening of listing the winners and then showing lengthy scenes of the performances that won, still celebrating the winners, but not boring people.

  9. I believe Ellen did what she was there to do, make us feel a part of the celebration and to laugh. It is an extremely long ceremony, and I too would like to see many of the categories taken to another venue, off air. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed Ellen’s hosting and humor more than any other host besides Billy Crystal. Great job, Ellen. BTW they are artists of course, Hollywood is liberal…. silly people.

  10. You have way too much time on your hands. If you didn’t like it then don’t watch next years. Simple as that. Now go do something productive with your lives.

    1. Well, actually, I posted that while working full-time in my office, at a career of 25 plus years. Think I’m pretty productive. (I also did work for many of the people who were in last night’s audience, including the host of the show, if that makes you feel better. Gee wiz.) Why invalidate an opinion and become so condescending just because you don’t agree? Lesson learned, though. Checking in on this website, and posting comments, is a huge waste of time, sorry I fell into that trap. Won’t waste my time again. Thanks for reminding me how trivial all this really is. It really is just a damn Snarkfest. It was better when all you had were the trades!

  11. Can somebody explain to me Ellen’s comment at the beginning of the show that “we are all racists”?? Beats me if I understood that comment.

  12. This whole show went over the time allotted as you can tell most East Coast ABC affiliates had to be pissed off that their local newscasts didn’t start until Midnight and in correction to this article, the Kimmel special only went live right after the awards show on the West Coast, as local news took place in the eastern and central times zones airing in between the awards show and Kimmel’s broadcast.

  13. I love you Ellen ..you did a great job..I’m not bored I honestly enjoyed every minutes of it..I do love all the famous stars with you..I just wish .you will come back again to hosts another Oscars…Thank you Ellen…

  14. i loooooooove the oscars – everything about it. some years it’s boring and some years it’s not. the sets were fab this year – the songs weren’t too long and were well done – ellen was funny – could have done w/o the pizza delivery – but hey – that’s ellen’s schtick! but i thought she hit a perfect balance of not insulting anyone, making us laugh and getting the job done.

    stop whining! ellen did a great job. the complainers OBVIOUSLY haven’t a clue what live television is all about. am sooooooo glad they didn’t cut off the award winners this year! loved the opening “behind the scenes” bit – THAT’S really what makes the show – a little more of that would have been nice and maybe some backstage vid – mos – just to see the actors in their comfortable backstage environment.

    the producers and musicians and all the folk who made it happen did a GREAT job – thanks again …..

  15. Who listens to what these people say? None of them seems overly bright but…that’s not the point. It is what it’s meant to be, a show about entertainment as well as a self-congratulatory way of saying who they like and don’t like. Of the films nominated I’m not likely to see any of them until they turn up on Netflix or television and then there are only a few that I will watch at all. It’s an over blown spectacle which is precisely what it is supposed to be. Was Ellen the funniest person I’ve ever seen? Well no but she kept the proceedings moving along and the “selfie” and pizza moments were genuine and had some charm. (The next day the man who delivered the pizzas showed up on her program and exuded charm and Mozarella. Interestingly, he was a Russian immigrant.) So carp all you want. I watched the whole show, or at least it was on while I did other work. Looked up when something interesting or good seemed to be happening and, as they used to say in the social columns, “a good time was had by all”.

  16. She did lame PC jokes and people are still ripping her to shreds. THey will bring back someone edgy next year. Its a cycle.

  17. Why do the ratings keep changing? The first report was “barely even with last year’s awards” and soon it will be “best ratings in the history of television!” These aren’t typical overnight or weeklong adjustments, these are forced changes.

  18. I’m always baffled at the annual whining about the Oscars. Theater performers, tv performers, singers/musicians, athletes and advertisers (did I miss anyone?) ALL reward themselves. But for some reason the venom only comes out for the Oscar ceremony. Please forgive me if I’m reductive but the only reason I can think of for this behavior is jealousy; people are so jealous of the (admittedly fake) beauty, glamour and wealth displayed that they complain about the Oscars from the moment it starts and for days after. If you hate “liberal” Hollywood, don’t watch the show. If you think the audience is full of self-important narcissists, don’t watch the show. If you’re watching to be excited and have an amazing viewing experience, don’t watch the show. It really is pointless to complain about it EVERY YEAR. It’s an awards ceremony. I watch to see awards distributed. If I want to be entertained, amused or blown away, I don’t watch an awards show, I watch a movie. I agree with the commenters who suggest that the show’s detractors have issues. If you hate Hollywood and/or the Oscars for whatever reason, it’s completely senseless to expose yourself to something you hate so much then take time out of your life to talk about how much you hate it. Just don’t watch, you’ll be a lot happier.

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