Oscar Ratings Drop 17 Percent, Telecast Sheds 7 Million Viewers

The final tally for the ABC telecast takes a sharp hit from the previous year's highs, falling to a six-year low.
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Neil Patrick Harris

After hitting a nearly 10-year high in 2014, the Oscars ratings succumbed to gravity on Sunday night and hit a six-year low in the process.

Read More THR's Complete Oscar Coverage

After metered market ratings brought dips — the year's show dropped 10 percent, to an average 25 rating among households and a 38 share — final ratings for the series fell 17 percent in the key demographic of adults 18-49 to a 10.8 rating.

With time zone adjustments for the period of 8:30 p.m. to 11:46 p.m. ET, the audience for the ABC telecast also fell by more than 6 million viewers from the previous year. The live telecast averaged 36.6 million viewers.

The drop comes after two exceptionally good years for the Oscars. Last year's modest boost from the 2013 show marked the Academy Awards' best showing since 2005.

Read More THR's Oscar Review

Given the fluctuation with awards show ratings, the drop isn't a terribly big surprise. And it certainly isn't all bad news. Sunday marked the biggest entertainment telecast (read: non-sports) since the last Oscars — and ABC kept the momentum with a strong late-night showing from Jimmy Kimmel.

The Live! host's annual After the Oscars special pulled its second largest audience to date with 5.8 million viewers. It also ranked No. 2 for the last five years with adults 18-49, 2.05 million. Only the 2014 Oscar special performed better, with an admittedly bigger lead-in.

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