UPDATED, 11:49 AM: Unintentionally delivering an ending that will live forever in awards show history for its Best Picture fiasco, last night’s Oscars really went places only live TV can.
In that vein, the near final numbers for last night’s 89th Academy Awards are now in, and they are down from last year. Sunday night’s show drew 32.9 million viewers with a 9.1 rating among adults 18-49.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the first time, the 2017 Oscars are down 4% in viewership and 13% among adults 18-49 from what the 88th Academy Awards ended up snagging in its final numbers last year. Like the metered market numbers of early today, that equals a nine-year viewership low for AMPAS’ annual ceremony. In fact, the 2017 Oscars were the third-least-watched of the 21st century.
Hosted by Chris Rock in his second frontman stint for Hollywood’s biggest night, the 2016 Oscars had a total audience of 34.4 million and a 10.5 demo result. In what has now become a distinct pattern of several years of downward movement for the Oscars, last year was an 8% decline from the 2015 show in overall sets of eyeballs watching and a just over 4% 18-49 drop.
It’s no La La Land mistakenly being announced as the Best Picture when the real victor was Moonlight, like what happened last night, but this isn’t likely the actual final Oscar result ratings-wise. Based on past couple of years that have seen increases of at least a 100,000 viewers when the final counting is complete, expect to see some sort of adjustment in the total audience for the 2017 Academy Awards over the next day or so.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:25 AM: Despite a great job by first-time host Jimmy Kimmel and a Best Picture win for Moonlight, the only thing that’s going to be remembered from last night’s Oscars for the next little while is the debacle of the wrong film being initially handed the big prize on live TV.
The dust won’t settle on that for ages, but right now the other news out of the 89th Academy Awards is that the nearly four-hour ABC broadcast show got a 22.4/36 in metered market results. Hitting a nine-year low for the Tinseltown ceremony and down again for another consecutive year, that’s just over a 3% decline from what the Chris Rock-hosted and Spotlight Best Picture-winning 2016 Oscars snagged in early ratings. Click on the video above to see highlights of this year’s show.
Then an eight-year low in metered market numbers, the 88th Academy Awards went on to end up with 34.4 million viewers and a rating of 10.5/31 among adults 18-49 – also an eight-year low and the third least watched Oscars ever. All of which does not bode well for last night’s show in the later numbers.
The best that Hollywood’s big night has done in the first round of ratings over the past decade-plus was back in 2005. That show, also hosted by Rock, got a 30.1/43 metered market result. Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby won Best Picture that year, and the broadcast went on to score 42.1 million viewers in the final number. With 12 Years a Slave winning Best Picture, the 2014 Oscars fronted by Ellen DeGeneres drew the biggest overall audience of the 21st century, with 43.7 million tuning in.
Besides Moonlight getting its Best Picture win after Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly first announced it for La La Land, last night’s Academy Awards also saw victories for La La director Damien Chazelle and that film’s Emma Stone as Best Actress. Manchester by the Sea‘s Casey Affleck won for Best Actor, Fences‘ Viola Davis and Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali took the awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor.
With basically nothing else new on the Big 4 last night and an original The Walking Dead on cable, we’ll update with more Oscar numbers later. In the meantime, check out the final viewership totals for the Academy Awards so far this century, what won Best Picture that year and who hosted:
2016 34.4 million, Spotlight (Chris Rock)
2015 37.3 million, Birdman (Neil Patrick Harris)
2014 43.7 million, 12 Years a Slave (Ellen DeGeneres)
2013 40.3 million, Argo (Seth MacFarlane)
2012 39.3 million, The Artist (Billy Crystal)
2011 37.9 million, The King’s Speech (Anne Hathaway/James Franco)
2010 41.3 million, The Hurt Locker (Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin)
2009 36.3 million, Slumdog Millionaire (Hugh Jackman)
2008 32.0 million, No Country For Old Men (Jon Stewart)
2007 40. 2 million, The Departed (Ellen DeGeneres)
2006 38.9 million, Crash (Jon Stewart)
2005 42.1 million, Million Dollar Baby (Chris Rock)
2004 43.5 million, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of the King (Billy Crystal)
2003 33.0 million, Chicago (Steve Martin)
2002 41.8 million, A Beautiful Mind (Whoopi Goldberg)
2001 42.9 million, Gladiator (Steve Martin)