The final numbers for this year’s Oscars hosted by Jimmy Kimmel came in at 32.9 million viewers, the lowest audience since the 2008 ceremony presided over by Jon Stewart drew just 31.9 million. By way of comparison, last year’s Oscars hosted by Chris Rock had 34.4 million viewers while the 2015 ceremony emceed by Neil Patrick Harris attracted 37.3 million. All those results lag behind the benchmark set by Ellen DeGeneres in 2014, when she drew 43.7 million. That was the biggest number since the 2000 telecast hosted by Billy Crystal had 46.5 million tuning in to see “American Beauty” win Best Picture.
Even more troubling was the anemic performance among the demographically desirable 18-49 year olds: the 89th annual Academy Awards merited a mere 9.1 rating among these advertiser friendly folks. That is a drop of 14% from last year’s 10.5 rating with this group.
While the show was the longest in decade, clocking in at three hours and 50 minutes, the audience stuck with to the end to see the biggest moment in Oscar history: the mix-up of the Best Picture winner.
ABC has extended its agreement with the academy until 2028, no doubt heartened by the $100 million plus in ad revenues generated annually by the Oscars. This year, the alphabet net had the added exposure of one of its in-house talents emceeing.