A comparatively uneventful Oscar telecast led the way on TV Sunday night — and early numbers have the telecast somewhat predictably stumbling to an all-time low.
Overnight returns give the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 overnight rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Compared to the same stat for 2017, the night the wrong best picture winner was named, that’s down a significant 16 percent. That number doesn’t yet reflect the hour of the show where the biggest awards were handed out.
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.
The night was not as political as many recent award shows, with showings of partisanship few and far between. The fallout and response to the exposure of sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry was an obvious throughline — and honorees like best actress winner Frances McDormand made stands for inclusivity and representation in the industry. Host Jimmy Kimmel seems to have earned praise for another solid performance during his second consecutive year on stage.
But the writing was largely on the wall for lows, either way. All three marquee events of the U.S. TV calendar of the year thus far — the Golden Globe Awards, the Grammys and the Super Bowl — were off significantly from the 2017.
At three hours and 50 minutes, Sunday’s Oscars may have only passed last year’s runtime by just one minute, but it managed to rank as the longest telecast in over a decade. Not since 2007 has an Academy Awards ceremony lasted that long.
And it wasn’t exactly a night of box office sloucher nominees. Though top winner Shape of Water ($57 million domestic to date) hasn’t exactly been a runaway hit, it certainly outpaced 2017’s winner Moonlight ($28 million) and actually ranks as the top-grossing best picture winner in five years. And Dunkirk, the only other film to nab more than two wins on Sunday, took $188 million at the domestic box office — just a little more than Get Out, which was up in multiple categories and saw a writing win for scribe-director Jordan Peele.
More to come, including complete viewership when Nielsen reports it later on Monday.
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March 5, 2018 at 03:52PM