Oscars Telecast Drops to All-Time Low 26.5 Million Viewers

Even the Oscars is not immune to the decline in viewers for awards shows. The 90th Academy Awards dropped to an all-time low with only 26.5 million viewers tuning in.

The nearly four-hour ABC telecast dropped 19% from last year, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The overnight rating for the 2018 ceremony was 18.9, which was down 16% from the 2017 ceremony's 22.4 overnight rating. In the final analysis, the 2017 ceremony notched a 9.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and earned 32.9 million viewers. ABC has not released the 18-49 demographic data for Monday's show and Nielsen will not publish the data until Tuesday.

The Oscars have not had more than 40 million viewers since the 2014 ceremony, when 43.7 million viewers tuned in. In fact, only three of the last 10 Oscar ceremonies have had over 40 million viewers.

The ceremony was the longest since 2007, beating the 2017 ceremony by exactly one minute, even without a Best Picture flub at the end.

Host Jimmy Kimmel and the Oscars producers focused the night on highlighting diversity and Hollywood's reaction to last fall's sexual harassment scandals. They tried to avoid overtly political messages and instead highlighted the 90-year history of the Academy Awards.

One major negative for this year's show was the lack of box office power from the Best Picture nominees. Only Jordan Peele's Get Out and Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk earned more than $100 million. The film that end up winning Best Picture was Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water, which has grossed $57 million domestically so far. However, that was better than last year's Moonlight, which only made $28 million. Del Toro's film is also the highest-grossing Best Picture winner from the past five years, highlighting the Oscars' growing love for indie films.

The Oscars were the latest awards show to see a dip in the ratings. The Golden Globes earned a 5.0 18-49 rating and 19 million viewers in January, an 11% drop in the demographic and 5% drop in total viewers, Variety reported.


Also in January, the Grammys collapsed, earning an all-time low 5.9 rating in the key demographic. It had 19.81 million viewers, its worst number since 2008 and a 24% drop from last year.

Photo credit: ABC