The Oscars ceremony on Sunday night was full of hypocrisy about the #MeToo movement and criticism of President Trump, but most Americans didn’t notice. They were too busy watching something else.
The initial ratings for the 90th Academy Awards are in, and it may end up being among the lowest rated modern telecasts of all time.
While the Oscars still bring in a sizable audience, their audience share continues to dwindle. Even the raw numbers are down: the audience size overall has lost over 10 MILLION viewers from just four years ago.
The Oscar ratings among the tital TV-watching audience currently stands at the second lowest in modern history, with the 2008 telecast doing only slightly worse.
The 2017 Academy Awards, which earned a 22.4 overnight rating, ultimately fetched 32.9 million viewers for ABC — also pulling a handsome 9.1 rating among adults 18-49. Still, those numbers reflected the second-lowest in Academy history — which bodes particularly troublesome for Sunday’s show. The previous all-time low Oscars took place in 2008, when only 31.8 million viewers tuned in.
Here is the list of total viewers for the Oscars over the last decade, which shows a major decline in recent years.
2017: 32.9 million viewers
2016: 34.4 million viewers
2015: 37.3 million viewers
2014: 43.7 million viewers
2013: 40.4 million viewers
2012: 39.5 million viewers
2011: 37.9 million viewers
2010: 41.6 million viewers
2009: 36.9 million viewers
2008: 31.8 million viewers
The show was heavy on criticism of conservatives and conservative causes, targeting Donald Trump, Mike Pence and the NRA among others. Multiple presenters and winners denounced the horrific sexual assault scandals that have ripped through the industry.
The rest of the awards show was uneventful and predictable, which may have also led to cratered ratings.
Early returns for the four hour telecast indicate that this may be the lowest-rated Oscars in modern history. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the ABC telecast averaged an 18.9 overnight rating for households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. That is a ratings loss of 16 percent from last year.
The Oscars are following a precipitous decline for TV ratings across the board. This year the Golden Globes, Grammys and Super Bowl have all seen significant declines in viewers.