July 17th, 2024

Oscars get audience lift from ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer,’ but ratings aren’t lofty

By Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press on March 11, 2024.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – “Barbenheimer” brought a bump not a boom to Oscars ratings.

An estimated 19.5 million people watched Sunday night’s 96th Academy Awards ceremony on ABC. That’s the biggest number drawn by the telecast in four years.

But that upward trend comes from an all-time low during the pandemic, and is up just 4% from last year’s estimated audience of 18.7 million, according to numbers released Monday by ABC.

The Academy experimented with starting this year’s show an hour earlier, and for the first time in years had many nominations for huge hit movies that viewers had actually seen – “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”

The viewership peaked in the final half hour, when Ryan Gosling performed “I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” won best actor, best director and best picture.

For many years, the Oscars were often the second most-watched television program of the year behind the Super Bowl. Until 2018, the Oscar telecast had never slipped below 30 million viewers, according to Nielsen records. The high-water mark was the 55 million people who watched “Titanic” clean up in 1998.

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For more coverage of this year’s Academy Awards, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/academy-awards

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