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The 2019 Oscars delivered year-to-year gains in Sunday’s ratings, bouncing back some from the previous year’s record lows.
ABC’s broadcast of the awards ceremony averaged 29.6 million viewers, a 11.5 percent gain over a year ago. The hostless show also scored a 7.7 rating among adults 18-49, a 13 percent gain over last year. The broadcast was the most-watched entertainment telecast on TV since the 2017 Oscars and the highest-rated non-sports program since the post-Super Bowl This Is Us in 2018.
The 2018 awards hit an all-time low of 26.54 million viewers and a 6.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
On the glass half-empty side of things, Sunday’s ratings are still the second-smallest on record for the Oscars. Prior to last year, the previous low was a shade over 32 million viewers in 2008.
Earlier, the Oscars posted a 21.6 rating/36 share in metered-market households, up about 14 percent over the early figures from a year ago.
Sunday’s broadcast clocked in at 3 hours, 13 minutes — the actual show ran a few minutes longer, but Nielsen records run time to the last national ad break. That was 41 minutes shorter than last year’s show. Along with not having a host, the show did not feature any montages or mid-telecast comedy bits.
Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody, the two biggest box office draws among the best picture nominees, each won multiple Oscars, but Green Book took home the night’s top honor.
The early improvements for the Oscars are ahead of other major awards shows this year. Both the Golden Globes and Grammy Awards were fairly steady year to year, although the Grammys hit a low in the 18-49 demo.
Following the Oscars and late local news, a preview of ABC’s dramedy Whiskey Cavalier drew 4.2 million viewers and a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49. The show started at just before midnight ET/11 p.m. CT and aired at 10 p.m. on the West Coast. The series pilot will re-air in its regular time period at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Feb. 25, 8:05 a.m. Updated metered-market ratings.
Feb. 25, 11 a.m. Updated with time zone-adjusted ratings.
Feb. 25, 1:25 p.m. Updated with Whiskey Cavalier ratings.
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