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The Oscars grew their TV audience for the second consecutive year, scoring the highest ratings for the show since 2020.
Sunday’s broadcast of the 95th Oscars averaged 18.76 million viewers and a 4.03 rating among adults 18-49 on ABC, according to time zone-adjusted fast national ratings from Nielsen (the numbers include out-of-home viewing).
That’s a 13 percent improvement in viewers and a 7 percent bump in adults 18-49 from last year’s awards, which delivered 16.62 million viewers and a 3.76 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Sunday’s broadcast drew the largest audience for any awards show since the 2020 Oscars — held a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread lockdowns — averaged 23.64 million viewers. It’s also the most watched entertainment program in primetime this season, passing the 15.66 million viewers for the post-Super Bowl premiere of Next Level Chef on Fox.
Despite the jump in viewers, the Oscars still turned in their third smallest viewer total since Nielsen began tracking that statistic, ahead of only the past two years. (The 2021 awards, delayed and heavily scaled back by the pandemic, set the all-time low of 10.4 million viewers.) Still, the year-to-year rise in viewers bucks a trend that has generally seen lower ratings across the board for awards shows in recent years.
The Grammys also enjoyed a substantial ratings bump this year, but the Golden Globes fell from their last televised ceremony in 2021, and the Emmys hit an all-time low in September. Other awards shows have had mixed results in the past year.
Sunday’s telecast, which clocked in at a little over three and a half hours and was dominated by Everything Everywhere All at Once’s seven wins, earned mostly positive reviews for its controversy-free presentation, host Jimmy Kimmel’s ability to keep the show moving and emotional speeches from winners, including EEAAO’s Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh, best actor honoree Brendan Fraser and “Naatu Naatu” songwriter M.M. Keeravaani.
March 14, 8:25 a.m. Updated with final ratings figures for the Oscars.
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