The Oscars have been having a terrible time in recent years when it comes to television ratings, however, the ratings for the 2019 Oscars telecast are up slightly from last year. The grand experiment to go without a host might have just been a good idea after all.
According to very preliminary numbers, per Collider, Sunday night’s host-free, tight-and-bright, 200-minute ABC telecast scored a 21.6 rating in the metered-market households. That’s up 14% from last year’s 18.9, which marked an all-time low and ultimately translated into the ceremony’s smallest audience ever.
The Oscars delivered 29.6 million total viewers, up 11 percent from last year’s all-time low of 26.5 million viewers and marking the first audience gain in five years. In the covered 18-49 demo, the big show scored a 7.7, up 13 percent from 2018. Despite this, the 2019 Academy Awards are the second-lowest rated of all time after last year’s show.
While it’s anyone’s guess as to why the Oscars won back some of the viewers who’d bailed on the show a year ago, the deliveries may have been goosed by somewhat shorter running time and a slightly more youth-oriented slate of nominees.
This year’s telecast came on the heels of more than six months of headline-making hiccups, starting with the Academy backtracking on the addition of a Best Popular Film category, peaking with the controversy that led to Kevin Hart being replaced with ultimately no one as host.
Bohemian Rhapsody proved to be the big winner of the night, taking home four awards including best actor for star Rami Malek. Roma, Black Panther, and Green Book took home three Oscars each, with Green Book nabbing the best picture statuette. Spike Lee also took home his first competitive Oscar, winning for best-adapted screenplay for the film BlacKkKlansman.
Other winners included Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for best-animated film and Olivia Colman for best actress.