It’s a dark time for Hollywood and “The Oscars” haven’t been spared as The 90th Academy Awards on Sunday witnessed a record-low viewership.
The ratings for the ceremony hit a record low of 26.5 million people, a 20 percent drop from the 33 million who watched the 2017 awards show, as per the Nielsen’s Live + Same Day data.
The previous record low was in 2008 when 32 million viewers watched a hastily organized ceremony that proceeded just days after the Writers Guild of America’s strike had ended.
Moving the ceremony up to 8 p.m. on Sunday on ABC — a half-hour earlier than its 8:30 p.m. slot — did little to aid the show’s rapidly declining audience.
Nonetheless, ABC said in a press release that The Oscars “towered over” other key award shows this season, outdrawing the 2018 Grammy Awards by 6.7 million viewers (19.8 million on 1/28/18) and the 2018 Golden Globe Awards by 7.5 million viewers (19.0 million on 1/7/18)
It added that ABC’s 2018 “Oscars” telecast reached an estimated 53.3 million unique television viewers across the US. ABC also said that it beat its combined broadcast competition (CBS, NBC and Fox) by 169% in Total Viewers and by 263% in adults 18-49.
While Oscars viewership is often the result of how well best picture nominees score at the box office (the winner, “The Shape of Water,” grossed just $57.4 million in the United States), some conservatives are blaming the show’s politics: its emphasis on the mistreatment of women in entertainment, for example, and the stars’ jabs at President Trump.
The Oscars have been broadcasted since 1953, meanwhile audience figures have been around since 1974.