News Nuggets: Why was the Oscars ceremony the least watched in years?

The ratings for this weekend’s Academy Awards are the weakest since 2009. Sunday’s Oscars on ABC hosted by Neil Patrick Harris averaged 37.3 million viewers according to final Nielsen figures. That ended a steady four-year climb and was more than six million fewer people than last year. The Golden Globes in January also had its smallest audience in years, bringing back the theory that major awards are completely dependent on which performers and films are nominated. If they aren’t blockbusters and well-known celebrities, the fringe viewers do not want to watch. The largest audience in Oscar history was in 1998 with 55.2 million viewers. USA Today

The 20th season of “Dancing With the Stars” now has its celebrity competitors. The dozen names announced Tuesday are Noah Galloway (Iraq veteran), Robert Herjavec (“Shark Tank“), Patti LaBelle (singer), Riker Lynch (singer), Nastia Liukin (gymnast), Charlotte McKinney (actress), RedFoo (singer), Michael Sam (football player), Willow Shields (actress), Suzanne Somers (actress), Rumer Willis (actress), and one mystery name (rumored to be the current ABC “Bachelor”). TV Line

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Edward Snowden, the subject of Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour,” has an interesting reaction to one of Neil Patrick Harris‘ joke Sunday night. Harris quipped, “Edward Snowden couldn’t be here for some treason.” Snowden responds, “To be honest, I laughed at NPH. I don’t think it was meant as a political statement, but even if it was, that’s not so bad. My perspective is if you’re not willing to be called a few names to help out your country, you don’t care enough.” Some reporters and reviewers thought it was either dumb or irresponsible. Huffington Post

Oscar winner Patricia Arquette fires back to critics about her speech about wage inequality and women. Backstage at the ceremony, she said, “The truth is, the older women get, the less money they make. It is time for us. Equal means equal. On Twitter Monday, she added, “If you are fighting against #Equalpay you are fighting for ALL women and especially women of color to make less money than men.” ABC News

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Lou Lumenick is already discussing possible Academy Awards frontrunners for next year. He says to pay attention to “The Hateful Eight” (Quentin Tarantino), “The Danish Girl” (Tom Hooper), “Steve Jobs” (Danny Boyle), “St. James Place” (Steven Spielberg), “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (J.J. Abrams), and “Aloha” (Cameron Crowe). New York Post

Sean O’Connell also takes a look ahead at the next Oscars, especially for Best Picture. In addition to some of the titles mentioned above, he focuses on Concussion (Peter Landesman), “Everest” (Baltasar Kormakur), “In the Heart of the Sea” (Ron Howard), “The Revenant” (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), and “The Walk” (Robert Zemeckis). Cinema Blend

In honor of the Oscar wins for “Whiplash,” Mark Kassen and Michaela Watkins offer a funny new video called “Not My Tempo.” The plot description says it is “a lesson in how to please a woman,” and the short film has already had over 29,000 views. Funny or Die

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