Oscar ratings plunge to a record low

  • Mar. 5, 2018 4:52 p.m.

NEW YORK — American television viewers could barely stifle a yawn for Hollywood’s biggest night, with the Academy Awards plunging to a record-low viewership of 26.5 million people in the U.S.

The numbers were also down in Canada from last year, with an average of 4.5 million people watching on CTV, the broadcaster said Monday citing preliminary data from ratings tracker Numeris.

In the U.S., the Nielsen company said that’s a 20 per cent drop from the 33 million who watched the 2017 show, which was also hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Oscar viewership is often tied to the box office muscle of the big nominees, and best picture winner “The Shape of Water” only grossed $57.4 million in the United States.

It’s the first time the Oscars have drawn fewer than 30 million people, in Nielsen records that go back to 1974. The Academy Awards are often the most-watched television program of the year after the Super Bowl, but this year’s Winter Olympics opening ceremony from Pyeongchang reached 27.8 million.

The previous low-water mark for the Oscars came in 2008, when “No Country For Old Men” won best picture.

Only four years ago the Oscar reached nearly 44 million viewers. The biggest Academy Awards audience on record came in 1998, when the blockbuster “Titanic” was named best picture.

The Academy Awards can keep bragging rights over other awards shows. The Golden Globes reached 19 million viewers in January and the Grammys had an audience of 19.8 million, Nielsen said.

In Canada, CTV said the award show peaked with 5.6 million viewers when Allison Janney accepted her supporting actress award.

Last year, CTV drew an average of 5.5 million viewers, according Numeris. It said viewership peaked with 6.7 million viewers in 2017 as Mahershala Ali accepted his Oscar for best supporting actor.

Just Posted

Photos: Children enjoy petting animals near Red Deer Sunday

Children and families learned about various animals and birds at a petting… Continue reading

Search for missing Tofino boaters scaled back, handed over to RCMP

TOFINO, B.C. — Jae Valentine woke to the sound of wolves howling… Continue reading

Get ready for the ‘internet of cows’: Farmers use technology to shake up agriculture

MONTREAL — Get ready for the “internet of cows.” Generations of farmers… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer cadets conclude year of learning

After a year of hard work, Red Deer’s local Air and Army… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta High School Soccer League champs crowned

Lindsay Thurber girls’ team and Notre Dame boys’ team won Saturday at Edgar Park Field in Red Deer

5 dead as SUV chased by Border Patrol crashes in South Texas

BIG WELLS, Texas — At least five people were killed and several… Continue reading

Ramifications of a trade war: an expert look at the numbers for Canada

OTTAWA — A new analysis of escalating trade disputes involving the United… Continue reading

Deliberate spill: study launched to test crude and bitumen impact on lake life

KENORA, Ont. — Researchers were in northwestern Ontario over the weekend spilling… Continue reading

Two-spirit N.B. First Nation chief says his election points to progress

FREDERICTON — The new leader of a New Brunswick First Nation said… Continue reading

Google diversity report: Black women make up only 1.2 percent of its US workforce

Google released its annual workforce diversity report Thursday, marking only modest changes… Continue reading

Brazil held to 1-1 draw by Switzerland at World Cup

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Brazil joined the list of big teams struggling to… Continue reading

Canada’s Auger-Aliassime wins Sopra Steria title for 2nd straight year

LYON, France — Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime defended his ATP Challenger Sopra Steria… Continue reading

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

MOSCOW — The suspect in a taxi crash near Red Square that… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month