Oscar 2021: TV Ratings: Oscars at All-Time Low in Early Numbers

The 93rd Academy Awards drew 9.85 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 on Sunday.
That’s a steep drop from from last year’s 23.64 million viewers and 5.3 in the key ad demographic — both of which were the previous all-time lows.The 58 percent decline in total viewers is in keeping with those for the Grammys (which fell 51 percent), Golden Globes (62 percent) and SAG Awards (52 percent) in recent months. In the 18-49 demo, the Oscars were down by 64 percent, also in line with other awards shows.

Final ratings for Sunday, which may include small upward adjustments for the Oscars, will be out early Tuesday.

ABC’s telecast, produced by Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins from downtown L.A.’s Union Station, had a small in-person audience but was much different in nature and scope than previous shows.

Reviews of the show were mixed to negative.

The producers’ gamble in making best actor the final category fell flat, when an absent Anthony Hopkins won for The Father and the show ended somewhat abruptly and on a downbeat.  Chadwick Boseman, who died last year, was expected to win, as he did with many other groups.

Despite the low numbers compared to past Oscars, Sunday’s broadcast drew ABC’s biggest total audience in months — an NBA Finals game in October came in at 8.89 million.

The Oscars also held onto their usual spot as the most watched awards show, though for the second straight year the Grammys had the higher 18-49 rating (2.28, and pending updates for the Oscars).