Oscars Get Good Ratings News

Viewership rebounds 12% from last year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 14, 2023 12:04 AM CDT
Ratings Are Good News for Oscars
Host Jimmy Kimmel appears onscreen at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Whether it was the lingering drama of The Slap or the prominence of blockbusters in the best picture race, a bigger audience was lured back to the Oscars this year, the AP reports. The 95th Academy Awards, which aired Sunday night on ABC, was viewed by an estimated 18.7 million, according to preliminary Fast National Live+Same Day numbers released Monday by ABC. That's up 12% from last year's show, but still low compared to most years. The evening’s main counterprogramming, the season finale of The Last of Us, pulled in 8.2 million viewers across HBO and HBO Max. The show began at 9pm EST, an hour after the Oscars started.

A frequent criticism of the Oscars is that the show celebrates films that don’t have wide appeal. This year was markedly different, however, with two billion-dollar blockbuster sequels in the mix: Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water were both nominated for best picture. Angela Bassett was nominated for a Marvel movie, a first. Even the winning film, A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once, made over $100 million at the global box office and played in theaters for months. Jimmy Kimmel, who presided over the ceremony in 2017 and 2018, returned to host the show, parachuting on to the Dolby Theatre stage. The show also featured performances from pop stars like Rihanna and Lady Gaga.

For many years, the Oscars were often the second most-watched television program of the year behind the Super Bowl. Until 2018, the Oscar telecast had never slipped below 30 million viewers, according to Nielsen records. Broadcast television viewership has gone down across the board in the streaming era, and awards shows have illustrated that. The show boasted 27.4 million total social interactions across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and was the No. 1 worldwide trending topic on Twitter for its duration. By Monday afternoon, Ke Huy Quan’s acceptance speech had over 1.3 million views on YouTube, and Brendan Fraser’s was up to 2.6 million.

(More Oscars stories.)

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