The record lows that pundits were expecting for the 84th Academy Awards appear not to have materialized, as the Billy Crystal-hosted telecast rose from last year, at least in total viewers.
According to Fast National ratings, the Oscars telecast averaged 39.3 million viewers and an 11.7 rating among adults 18-49 on Sunday (February 26) night.
The overall audience represented a bump of 1.4 million viewers over last year’s show. In fact, this ended up being the second biggest Oscars audience since 2007, which isn’t necessarily a huge achievement unless you remember the doomsday prediction for ratings based upon the middling box office for many of the nominated films.
Instead of plummeting, the Oscars remained flat from last year in the 18-49 demographic and rose very slightly among women 18-49, with a 14.1 rating.
As expected, the Oscars came in just under CBS’ Grammys telecast two weeks earlier, which averaged 39.9 million viewers and a 14.1 rating among adults 18-49. That show was boosted by wildly popular winners like Adele and by the tragic death of Whitney Houston the day before.
The Oscars sent all remaining network Sunday programs to low numbers. CBS’ “The Amazing Race” drew only 7.595 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49. NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” took an even bigger drop, doing 4.68 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating for its first hour and rising slightly to 5.31 million and a 1.9 key demo rating in the 10 p.m. hour.