Early this morning, I posted some meaningless numbers with time period data suggesting that the 86th Academy Awards might have been up for ABC.
Slightly less meaningless data is in and, indeed, ABC is boasting that the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted Oscars hit a 10-year high in total viewers and crushed the year's other big award shows in all measures.
Per Fast National and Live + Same Day ratings, the Oscars averaged 43 million viewers on Sunday (March 2) night and did a 12.9 rating among adults 18-49.
That made this the most-watched Oscars overall since 2004 and, in fact, ABC is saying this was TV's most-watched entertainment telecast since the May 2004 series finale of “Friends.” The show was up by 6 percent in total viewers. The Oscars telecast was also up 1 percent among adults 18-34 to a seven-year high, up 8 percent among teens 12-17 and up 9 percent among kids 2-11.
It's unclear what to make of that, other than that ABC gave a lot of “growth” numbers, but ignored the key 18-49 demographic. That's because last year's Seth MacFarlane-hosted show did a 13.0 rating in the key demo. ABC, in fact, broke out relatively few demos for Sunday's Oscars, so it can probably be assumed that MacFarlane drew better male numbers, etc. However, “overall” is a pretty big demo and ABC's happy about that one.
The Oscars remains the gold standard for TV awards shows, certainly. The Academy Awards topped the Golden Globes by 22.1 million viewers and by 98 percent in the key demo and beat the Grammys by 14.5 million viewers and by 30 percent in the key demo.
Also growing was “Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars,” which drew 6.99 million viewers, up 22 percent from last year, including 2.42 million viewers in the key 18-49 demo, up 20 percent from last year.