Oscars Viewership Falls 56% to All-Time Low

Jennifer Maas


The final ratings results are in for the 2021 Oscars, which don’t look much better than the preliminary numbers for Sunday’s hostless awards show, which was taped at Union Station in Los Angeles and aired live on ABC from 8-11:17 p.m. ET.

According to time-zone adjusted Nielsen data, the 93rd annual Academy Awards drew a 2.1 rating/14 share in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and 10.4 million total viewers. Those are down 60.4% (5.3 rating) and 56% (23.6 million viewers) respectively from the 2020 show.

Both the rating and totally viewer tally are new record lows for the Oscars telecast, which hit its previous all-time lows with last year’s show, a telecast that aired before COVID-19 interfered with live awards shows — and the traditional release of movies in theaters.

The final numbers ticked up a bit from the 1.9 key demo rating and 9.85 million total viewers that the 2021 Oscars put up in initial numbers Monday.

While the Oscars are the latest awards show to take a hit amid the pandemic, they are far from the only one to suffer a steep drop in ratings this season.

This year’s Grammy Awards sunk more than 60% in ratings from 2020’s show among adults 18-49, the age-range most sought after by advertisers on entertainment programming. Just 8.8 million viewers tuned in across multiple platforms, down by a full 10 million from a year ago.

Two weeks before the Grammys aired, NBC’s 2021 Golden Globes shed 63% of total viewers from 2020, plummeting from 18.4 million overall TV viewers to a mere 6.9 million. The special’s 1.4 rating in the key demo was down 68% from 2020’s 4.7.

While it was definitely a loss for ABC, the 2021 Oscars saw plenty of winners, some of whom scored record-breaking victories in terms of gender and diversity.

Click here for Sunday’s complete list of 2021 Oscar winners, which includes Best Picture “Nomadland,” Best Actor Anthony Hopkins, and Best Actress Frances McDormand, among others.

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