More than 2 million more people watched ABC’s broadcast of the 95th awards show than there were a year earlier.
For the second year in a row, the Oscars had an increase in TV viewers, resulting in the show’s best ratings since 2020.
According to time zone-adjusted quick national ratings from Nielsen, Sunday’s broadcast of the 95th Academy Awards averaged 18.7 million viewers and a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49 on ABC (the numbers include out-of-home viewing).
That represents a 12.5% increase in viewers and a 5% increase in adults 18-49 compared to the 2017 awards, which attracted 16.62 million viewers and a 3.76 rating in that age group.
Although the 2020 Oscars, which were held a few weeks before the COVID-19 epidemic caused widespread lockdowns, averaged 23.64 million viewers, Sunday’s telecast attracted the most audience for any awards presentation. It has surpassed Next Level Chef on Fox’s post-Super Bowl debut with 15.66 million people to become the most viewed entertainment program in primetime this season.
Despite the increase in viewers, the Oscars still had the third-lowest viewership since Nielsen started keeping track of the data, trailing only the previous two years. (The pandemic-delayed and significantly scaled-back 2021 awards hit an all-time low of 10.4 million viewers.) However, the increase in viewers year over year breaks the tendency of typically lower ratings for award presentations.
In contrast to the Golden Globes, which had a decline from their final aired celebration in 2021, and the Emmys, which saw an all-time low in September, the Grammys saw a significant increase in viewership this year. Several award presentations in the last year have had varying degrees of success.
The majority of critics praised Sunday’s telecast for its controversy-free presentation, host Jimmy Kimmel’s ability to keep the show moving, and the moving speeches from winners like best actor honoree Brendan Fraser, EEAAO’s Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh, and “Naatu Naatu” songwriter M.M. Keeravaani. The show’s seven wins were dominated by Everything Everywhere All at Once.