UPDATED, 10:10 AM: Downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station is pretty much back to normal after hosting the 2021 Oscars on April 25, and now the final and far from normal numbers are in for 93rd Academy Awards.
No surprise, the ambitious affair from ABC and producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh remains the least watched and lowest rated Oscars ever – though they did manage to crack 10 million viewers after all.
Make that 10.4 million to be precise. Add to that small uptick from the earlier results, the 8 – 11:10 PM ET show snared a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49.
While the former number isn’t much of a jump from preliminary data release yesterday, the latter is almost an 11% bump. Nothing to write home about, but a small bit of traction.
In that vein, Disney-owned ABC are bragging that the 2021 Oscars were their “strongest primetime telecast of the year.” They are also chest pounding about topping CBS airing of the Grammys (9.2 million) last month and the Golden Globes (6.9 million) on NBC in February. The Oscars also bested last September’s Emmys (6.4 million), which was broadcast on ABC. That victory lap is pretty standard for the Hollywood’s biggest night, but never have the margins been so tight – just sayin.
And now, onward to 2022 and probably back to the Dolby Theatre.
PREVIOUSLY, APRIL 26 AM: Last night’s 93rd Academy Awards saw Netflix walk away with the most hardware overall, but the Disney empire took the big prizes with wins for Best Picture and Best Animated Film.
Those Nomadland and Soul trophies better shine pretty bright because for ABC, Sunday’s Oscars were an expected ratings washout.
In delayed fast national results just released by Nielsen, the 93rd Academy Awards were watched by a mere 9.85 million, with a dismal rating of 1.9 among the 18-49 demographic.
That is an all-time low for Hollywood’s biggest night — by a huge margin.
In fact, it is a drop of about 58% in terms of audience from what the previous low of the 2020 Oscars snared on February 9 last year. In terms of the key demo, the 2021 Oscars is down a crushing 64.2% in the earlier ratings from the 2020 Oscars.
Still, while the number from Sunday night’s Union Station-set show may be jaw-dropping, no one really is surprised by this year’s Oscars falling to a low.
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Coming off years of declining results in general, plus the last several months of little-watched virtual awards shows, theaters closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and a slate of Oscar nominees that lacked big name recognition, the Disney-owned network and AMPAS long have known they were in for a drubbing. It was only a matter of how bad things were going to be, not if they were going to be bad — and it was bad.
The question going forward is will 2021 be the Pompeii of awards show ratings or a tremor of sorts due to the particulars of the past year? Put another way, if the trajectory of the end of the pandemic stays on its current domestic track and yet if things still don’t rise next year for the Oscars, how hard will the reckoning be?
ABC plans to release its official 2021 Oscar data tomorrow, when the final numbers are in. As other broadcasters have done with similar big-ticket events during the past year or so, those numbers will incorporate at home viewing across all domestic time zones, as well as out-of-home viewing.
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This year the three-hour-plus Academy Awards also was available online on the Hulu+Live platform, ABC.com, YouTubeTV, the ABC app and a handful of other options. Whether those numbers will become part of the final jambalaya is TBD, but obviously ABC and the Movie Academy wanted to get the biggest bang they can for their devalued Oscar bucks.
We will update with those results when we get them, promise — though don’t expect that all-time low status to change. Not even Steven Soderbergh can find a way to make those numbers shine, if you know what I mean.
BTW, Disney-controlled Hulu is the streaming home of Nomadland, which won Best Picture, Best Director for Chloe Zhao and Best Actress for Frances McDormand.
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