Academy Awards: 20 years of TV ratings

See how the Oscars audience has been dwindling over the past two decades.

The 92nd Academy Awards may have topped the Grammy Awards and Golden Globes in total US viewers but at 23.6 million viewers it was also a historic low this week.

The ceremony was down by 6 million viewers compared to last year which featured performances by Queen, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

For years the Academy has been fighting dwindling ratings blamed on fragmenting audiences, younger viewers turning away and films lacking real buzz. It has endeavoured to address this with ‘shorter’ ceremonies, big name music acts and younger presenters.

This year’s event, with Elton John, Eminem and Janelle Monae, was the second consecutive year without a host. Maybe it’s time to call on Ricky Gervais? Or Ellen DeGeneres who has the highest viewership in 2014.

Here is a list of the ceremonies of the past two decades with US viewership, Best Picture winner and host:

2001: 42.9 million, Gladiator (Steve Martin)
2002: 41.8 million, A Beautiful Mind (Whoopi Goldberg)
2003: 33.0 million, Chicago (Steve Martin)
2004: 43.5 million, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of the King (Billy Crystal)
2005 42.1 million, Million Dollar Baby (Chris Rock)
2006: 38.9 million, Crash (Jon Stewart)
2007: 40. 2 million, The Departed (Ellen DeGeneres)
2008: 32.0 million, No Country For Old Men (Jon Stewart)
2009: 36.3 million, Slumdog Millionaire (Hugh Jackman)
2010: 41.3 million, The Hurt Locker (Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin)
2011: 37.9 million, The King’s Speech (Anne Hathaway/James Franco)
2012: 39.3 million, The Artist (Billy Crystal)
2013: 40.3 million, Argo (Seth MacFarlane)
2014: 43.7 million, 12 Years a Slave (Ellen DeGeneres)
2015: 37.3 million, Birdman (Neil Patrick Harris)
2016: 34.4 million, Spotlight (Chris Rock)
2017: 32.9 million, Moonlight (Jimmy Kimmel)
2018: 26.5 million, The Shape of Water (Jimmy Kimmel)
2019: 29.6 million, Green Book (No host)
2020: 23.6 million, Parasite (No host)

Source: Deadline

9 Responses

  1. i actually found Joaquin Phoenix’s speech pretty cringe worthy, like what is he on? Anyway as far as Oscar ratings goes, it would be interesting to see a comparison with Emmy ratings as i think TV has gone thru somewhat of a renaissance in the last decade or so, hence perhaps interest in film has dwindled a little.

  2. I think having a host grounds award shows, just like having a great MC at a wedding reception. However, the Oscars – including The Golden Globes and the Emmy’s has become too politicized. Most award winning actors after taking ownership of their gong then wish to hijack the microphone and push their political agenda. This ranges from climate change, Donald Trump, equality, #MeToo…the list goes on. This also may explain why many viewers have switched off. Like me perhaps they’ve had enough of highly paid privileged actors telling us mere mortals how to live and behave.

  3. Ellen is one of the best and most memorable hosts in recent memory. And unsurprisingly her ratings were the highest in the 20 year period shown here. The academy needs to bring her back again.

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