Oscars attract 18.7 million viewers, up 12% from last year

Oscars viewership soared on Sunday as an average of 18.7 million viewers tuned in to see “Everything Everywhere All at Once” win Best Picture and dominate the 95th Academy Awards on ABC with seven wins. That’s according to early, time-zone-adjusted ratings from Nielsen, which includes the outside of the home display – but keep in mind that number could change once the final national teams are there.

The Oscars, which repeated the return of presenter Jimmy Kimmel for the first time since 2018, rose 12% from last year’s ratings. And according to those time-zone-adjusted Fast National numbers from Nielsen, it beat last year’s 3.8 rating by 5% among key adults 18-49, earning a 4.0 in demo.

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This year’s show faced stiff competition from the HBO season finale of breakout smasher The Last of Us – whose star Pedro Pascal was, ironically, a Kudocast host. But it also presumably benefited from greater interest in this year’s Oscar contest, as well-loved films like ‘Everything Everywhere’, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Top Gun Maverick’ were in the running — not to mention the fact that audiences may have been curious could be like Kimmel and the TV show would address Will Smith’s slap in the face against host Chris Rock last year.

Looking at last year’s similar preliminary Fast National data, the 2022 ceremony attracted 15.36 million viewers and a rating of 3.2 among adults 18-49 years old.

The 2023 Oscars, which aired live from 8:00 p.m. to about 11:39 p.m. ET, was also the first for the production team of Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner – live TV veterans – to take on the role after hosting the event several times overseen by film producers for years.

Final Nielsen “live + same day” data for the 95th Academy Awards will be available Tuesday. Early Fast-Affiliate Nielsen numbers for Sunday’s Oscars, reported by some outlets Monday, are not time-zone adjusted and do not reflect the West Coast view of the awards show.

ABC executives also braced for unusual numbers as Sunday marked the start of daylight saving time and it was possible viewership would be impacted by the hour change.

Ratings for the Oscars have been significantly lower in recent years, hitting a record low in 2021 with 10.5 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among major adults 18-49.

The 2022 show, which featured a remote performance by Beyoncé as well as this shocking altercation between Rock and Smith, drew 16.6 million same-day viewers, according to Nielsen data live+ — a 58% increase over the year and an average rating of 3.8 (73% increase from 2021) in the key demographic of 18-49 year olds. After additional time-shift television in the following days, the program was the most-watched non-sports program of the past year with 17.6 million viewers.

But despite the good growth, the show still only made it into 2022 as the second-worst viewership and ratings performance in Oscars history. Last year’s show was touted as “the most social Oscar show ever,” according to ABC and the Academy, totaling 22.7 million social interactions and up 139% from last year’s show (9.5 million). The show garnered 16 million video views on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The record for an Oscar show remains the landmark entry from 1998, where an average of 55.3 million viewers watched Titanic win Best Picture. As recently as 2014, the Oscars attracted 43.6 million viewers (when 12 Years a Slave won). The last time the Oscars surpassed 30 million viewers was in 2017 (33 million when Moonlight won) and the last time it crossed the 20 million mark was before the 2020 pandemic (May 23). .6 million, the year that “Parasite” was victorious).

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