Despite A Thrilling Conclusion, The 2017 Oscars Suffered From Poor Ratings And A Bloated Running Time

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When Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly presented La La Land with the Best Picture trophy during Sunday’s Oscars telecast, an otherwise unextraordinary awards show became the talk of social media and Monday morning news programs. Yet the moment an apparent error from the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers created the strangest Best Picture hand-off in Oscars history still couldn’t save the broadcast from relatively poor ratings and a rather bloated running time.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, not only did Kimmel’s first performance as Oscars host earn ABC fewer eyeballs, it also dragged on well into the night despite cramming one of the nominated songs into the opening number and cutting into acceptance speeches early. Per THR‘s report:

Early numbers have the lengthy show off 4 percent from comparable stats in 2016, averaging an overnight 22.4 rating among metered market households. That measurement, courtesy of Nielsen, is shy of last year’s — which saw its overnight score (a 23.4 rating) ultimately translate to 34.43 million viewers.

Seeing as how the 2016 Oscars telecast was dubbed a “near all-time low” by THR at the time, that this year’s program scored numbers averaging at least 4 percent less suggests Kimmel’s debut did poorer than Chris Rock’s. Plus, Sunday’s broadcast came to about three hours and 49 minutes in length — making it the longest Academy Awards ceremony in a decade. Much of this is due to the final award’s elongated presentation, though it’s not entirely the Best Picture award’s fault.

As for why the La La Land v. Moonlight debacle didn’t initially draw enough eyeballs to bump ABC’s numbers, THR concludes most viewers had tuned out well before Beatty and Dunaway took the stage after midnight on the East Coast. Nielsen ratings remained “steady throughout” and peaked during the 9 o’clock hour on the East Coast, but dropped off soon after. Seems Kimmel and Matt Damon’s ongoing “feud” wasn’t enough to boost ratings.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)