The Academy Awards Ratings Were The Lowest Since 2009

Neil Patrick Harris in his underwear at the Oscars
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From David Spade to the wonderful commenters in our live discussion, people didn’t seem to like the jokes from last night’s 87th annual Academy Awards broadcast all that much. While Neil Patrick Harris missed the memo that Oprah Winfrey jokes are never successful in an Oscars monologue, there were plenty of other “humorous” moments that either fell flat or simply came off as creepy. You’d think that someone as charming as Harris would have been able to carry most of the show on his A+ wink-and-smile power alone, so maybe it was just the collection of films that viewers couldn’t get into. Either way, it seems like people simply weren’t as interested in watching the Oscars this year.

Last year’s Oscars event, which featured Ellen DeGeneres’ A-list selfie that destroyed Twitter, enjoyed a total viewership of 43.7 million people for the biggest show since 2004. This year? Only 36.6 million people, the lowest total since 2009, which also featured a total viewership of 36.6 million people. Naturally, a drop of 16% like this has people pumping out negative headlines (a grand prize nominee here), but as Variety points out, this isn’t the worst news in Oscar history.

Despite the declines, the Oscars were the top-rated entertainment telecast in the 51 weeks since last year’s show. By comparison, the Oscars outdrew the Grammy Awards on CBS by 30% in 18-49 (10.8 vs. 8.3) and by 11.8 million total viewers (36.6 million vs. 24.8 million), and they topped the Golden Globe Awards on NBC by 86% in the demo and by 17.3 million total viewers (36.6 million vs. 19.3 million). (Via Variety)

It will only be time to panic over the state of awards shows if the Spike Guys Choice Awards ratings start dropping. When you’ve lost the bros, you’ve lost everything.