×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Ratings: Oscars Hit New Viewership Low With 26.5 Million

UPDATED: The 2018 Academy Awards telecast on ABC attracted 26.5 million viewers across the nearly four-hour show on Sunday night.

While that was good enough to handily top all of Sunday’s broadcast competition and most of the award shows of the past year, it is still the least-watched Oscars to date. The drop off was not entirely unexpected, as the audiences for most award shows have seen declines in recent years. As it stands, the 2018 Oscars are down approximately 19% compared to 2017.

PREVIOUSLY: Live viewership of the 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony was down significantly from the 2017 telecast, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings for ABC’s nearly four-hour telecast.

The 8 p.m.-11 p.m. portion of ABC’s telecast averaged an 18.9 household rating and 32 share in Nielsen’s metered market overnight ratings, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. That’s down about 16% from the 22.5/37 rating generated by the 2017 Oscars.

However, the preliminary ratings are not adjusted for time zone differences. ABC’s 8 p.m.-11:48 p.m. ET Oscarcast aired live coast to coast, which means the live West Coast viewership is not accurately reflected in the overnight numbers that measure only primetime hours in all markets. Nor do they include viewership from the post-11 p.m. final 48 minutes when the most prominent awards were handed out to winners that included Gary Oldman as best actor, for “Darkest Hour,” and Frances McDormand, for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

In the fast nationals, which are also not time zone adjusted, the Oscars telecast averaged a 6.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 24.4 million viewers, compared to the 8.7 rating and 29.1 million viewers the 2017 telecast drew in the preliminary numbers. 2017’s telecast eventually rose to a 9.1 and 32.9 million viewers. ABC will likely see a lift in the numbers once the final data becomes available later today, but as it currently stands, the 2018 Oscars telecast is at an all-time low in the ratings.

Nonetheless, the overnights give a glimpse of the baseline turnout for the ceremony that crowned the fantasy drama “The Shape of Water” as best picture.

Despite the drop, ABC was the dominant network of the night, easily topping its Big Four competitors combined.

As it currently stands, ABC averaged a 5.8 rating and 22.4 million viewers on Sunday night. NBC averaged a 0.6, while CBS and Fox tied with a 0.5 CBS averaged 4.5 million viewers, while NBC drew 2.7 million and Fox drew 1.7 million.

More TV

  • WGA Awards 2019 Winners

    WGA Awards 2019: Bo Burnham Wins Original Screenplay Award for 'Eighth Grade'

    In a stunning upset, Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade” from the Writers Guild of America. He credited star Elsie Fisher for his winning the award. Burnham won over Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma”; Adam McKay’s “Vice”; Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place”; and Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content