Oscars Loss: Ratings Tank With 16% Drop From Last Year

The Oscars may have been filled with winners, but the primetime special isn’t taking home any awards.

According to early ratings, the 2018 Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second year in a row, tanked with a 15.6% drop from last year’s award show, The Wrap reports. The ABC special, which was scheduled in the 8-11 p.m. ET timeslot but ran about 50 minutes over its allotted time, has received an 18.9 rating in Nielsen’s overnight numbers.

In comparison, last year’s Oscars, which saw Moonlight take home the award for Best Picture, had 32.9 million viewers tuning in and scored a 22.4 rating in Nielsen’s overnight numbers. That rating was down roughly 4.3% from the 2016 Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, which had also been down 8% from its predecessor.

While this year’s ABC special will need to stay over 32.018 million viewers to avoid an-all-time low audience, a title that the 2008 Academy Awards hosted by Jon Stewart currently holds, the award show can pride itself on avoiding another envelopegate.

The 90th Academy Awards producers made sure there would be no envelope screw ups this year by putting the name of the category in giant letters on the envelope. The envelope was on full display when Eva Marie Saint presented the award for Best Costume Design.

Last year, the envelope mishap led to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announcing the wrong Best Picture winner. They announced La La Land as the winner, as they were handed the Best Actress envelope. In reality, the winner was Moonlight.

This year, The Shape of Water, which starred Sally Hawkins in the leading role as a mute woman who helps rescue and falls in love with a fish monster, took home four major awards on Sunday, including Best Picture, Best Director for Guillermo del Toro, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score.

Meanwhile, Frances McDormand stole the show with her acceptance speech following her Best Actress win. She placed her Oscar on the floor and called for each and every woman who had been nominated for any award in the Dolby Theatre to stand up in unison.


“Okay, look around ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don't talk to us about it at the parties tonight, invite us into your office in a couple days or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best. And we'll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight ladies and gentlemen, inclusion writer,” she said.

Final numbers, including last night’s overall audience tally, are expected to be in my 3 p.m. ET.