The 90th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel in 2018, wound up as the least-watched Oscars telecast in history with 26.5 million viewers. Last year’s ceremony then went without a host out of necessity—the last minute Kevin Hart debacle guaranteed that—and saw a slight rebound in the ratings while still being the second least-watched ceremony ever with 29.6 million. This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opted to go without a host yet again.
Did it payoff for ABC, which could use some good news as it will broadcast the Oscars all the way through 2028?
The 92nd Academy Awards drew an all-time low with 23.6 million viewers, Deadline reports. Ouch. For comparison, here is the average viewership for the past five Oscars telecasts.
2019: 29.6 million
2018: 26.5 million
2017: 32.9 million
2016: 34.4 million
2015: 36.6 million
Sunday night’s ceremony featured precedent-setting victories as filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite become the first-ever non-English language film to win Best Picture. By claiming the top award as well as Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film, Ho tied Walt Disney with a record four Oscars in one night. Parasite also led all movies in overall wins. It was the rare instance of the Academy awarding the most-deserving film. #BongHive
Fellow champagne-poppers include Disney and Fox, Neon, and Sony as they all took home four statues apiece, the most of any distributor/studio. Such parity—spread amongst Hollywood’s most dominant conglomerate, a boutique distributor and an up-and-down mainstream studio—is encouraging to see.
On the other end of the spectrum sits Netflix. The streaming service walked into Oscars night with an industry-leading 24 nominations yet walked away with just two trophies: Best Supporting Actress (Laura Dern, Marriage Story) and Best Documentary Feature (American Factory). Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman joins Gangs of New York, True Grit, American Hustle, The Turning Point and The Color Purple as movies with double-digit nominations yet zero wins. That has to sting, especially after Roma‘s upset loss to Green Book last year and the fact that Netflix may or may not have spent $100 million on its Oscars campaign this year.
All told, the Oscars were heavy on compelling storylines but perhaps light on mainstream allure. The compressed schedule, in which the Oscars were moved from mid- to late-February to February 9, likely left some viewers with little time to catch up on the Oscar-nominated pictures and performances they missed out on.