UPDATE, 10:53 AM: A bleary eyed Hollywood is already thinking about the 92nd Academy Awards this morning and now the last announcement of last night’s hostless Oscars is upon us.
The final numbers are in and it looks like the presence of blockbusters, performances from members of Queen and Lady Gaga, a slightly shortened running time and no one fronting the ceremony was a winner for viewers and ABC.
With an audience of 29.6 million and a 7.7 rating of among adults 18-49, the 91st Academy Awards are up from the record lows of the 90th Academy Awards.
After four years of pretty stark declines in the sets of eyeballs watching the more than three-hour ceremony, the 3.1 million viewers that last night’s Oscars gained over last year’s show now slots the hostless show as the second least watched ever.
Yet, up 12% in viewers and 13% in the key demo over the 2018 Jimmy Kimmel fronted show, the 2019 Oscars are the most watched non-sports show on all of TV since the 32.9 million who tuned in for the 2017 Oscars.
The final ratings rose 16% from the non-adjusted fast affiliates of earlier this morning, which were up 3% from the same stats of the 2018 Oscars. Distinct from the very early metered market numbers, those earlier ratings had an audience of 25.5 million tuning in for last night’s Green Book Best Picture winning show.
PREVIOUSLY 5:48 AM: (UPDATED with Nielsen ratings reporting from Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus and Buffalo) On a night where Spike Lee turned his back on Green Book‘s Best Picture victory, the 91st Oscars will likely ultimately be remembered most for going hostless and getting a much desired ratings bounce.
The Favourite‘s Olivia Colman shocked and delighted the crowd with her Best Actress win and her wonderful speech, and early numbers indicate viewers at home were taken with the ABC broadcast itself too. Running around 3 hours and 21 minutes and experimenting with no frontman or frontwoman for the first time since 1989, Sunday’s Oscars snared a 20.6/34 in metered markets results in the 8-11:15 PM ET slot.
Shorter than usual for the first time in several years, that’s a distinct ratings rise for the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences’ show. In fact, in an era when awards shows across the board have been taking viewership and demographic hits, last night’s Oscars was up 9% over last year’s Jimmy Kimmel-hosted affair.
Now of course, numbers can be fluid, and we won’t have a full sense of how this will truly settle out until we see the final viewership later today from Nielsen.
However at this point, down 8% from the Best Picture debacle of 89th Academy Awards in the early numbers, the 91st Academy Awards looks to be close to the Jon Stewart-hosted 80th Academy Awards. With a 21.9 in the early metrics, that February 24, 2008 show was an all-time low before last year’s stumble. In a very different era of television, that ceremony saw No Country For Old Men take the Best Picture and around 32.0 million tune in.
Even though right now last night’s Oscars are the second lowest ever, getting near those kind of 2008 audience numbers would prove a win for the much criticized Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC. Especially as the time-conscious net had to quell nervous advertisers this year after the Oscars fell beneath 32 million viewers and a 21.0 meter market rating for the first time last year.
On a night that also saw The Walking Dead on AMC and the Season 3 finale of True Detective on HBO, we’ll update with more Oscar ratings later. BTW, the latest run of True Detective starred Green Book‘s Mahershala Ali, who won his second Oscar for Supporting Actor in three years last night. Besides Colman and Ali, the other top acting categories went to Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek for Best Actor and If Beale Street Could Talk‘s Regina King for Supporting Actress.
While we await the final numbers for last night’s show, here is a look at how the Academy Awards have performed in the 21st century so far, who won Best Picture and who hosted:
2019: 29.6 million, Green Book (No host)
2018: 26.5 million, The Shape of Water (Jimmy Kimmel)
2017: 32.9 million, Moonlight (Jimmy Kimmel)
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)