ABC’s Feb. 27 telecast of the “77th Annual Academy Awards” was down slightly from last year, but it still held its audience better than most recent awards shows and even increased its numbers among younger viewers.
The Oscars attracted an average audience of 42.1 million viewers and delivered a 15.1 rating among adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen Media Research. The show was down 3 percent from its viewer total last year (43.5 million), and down 1 percent in the key demo (15.3).
Nearly 70 million viewers who tuned in watched six minutes or more of the telecast.
With Chris Rock hosting for the first time, the Oscars showed growth in a number of younger demos. The show delivered its highest ratings in three years among adults 18 to 34 (12.8), women 18 to 49 (18.5) and women 18 to 34 (16.2). Among male teens, the show had its highest rating in six years, a 7.3 in males 12 to 17.
The broadcast maintained its lead in total viewers over other awards shows by a wide margin, and had a smaller decline than almost any of the major televised awards in recent months. For instance, the 2005 Golden Globes had 16.8 million total viewers Jan. 16, down 40 percent from the year before, and the 2005 Grammy Awards had 18.5 million viewers Feb. 13, down 28 percent from 2004.