For the first time ever, the Oscars saw an all-time low rating and one of the reasons attributed for the fall is the sheer predictability of the awards. If there are other reasons they still have to be fathomed. There was an unexpected surprise as Anthony Hopkins won the award for best actor for The Father. However, his acceptance speech could not be telecast as he was reportedly fast asleep in Wales. Almost everyone was expecting Chadwick Boseman to get the award. So, there was no telecast of an acceptance speech by the best actor though Hopkins did deliver it much later and paid a tribute to Boseman. Nomadland won the Best Picture of the year.
Here is a list of the best films in the past two decades with the viewership as well as the hosts according to Deadline.
About 42.9 million viewers tuned in to watch a hilarious Steve Martin host the Oscars. Gladiator won the Best Picture award.
Another comedian Whoopi Goldberg hosted the show and 41.8 million people watched the show. The best picture was A Beautiful Mind.
Steve Martin was back hosting the Oscars but he couldn’t retain the earlier viewership and the numbers fell to 33 million. The movie that won best picture of the year was Chicago.
When Billy Crystal hosted the Oscars in 2004, there was a bump in the audience numbers which reached 43.5 million. Almost concurrently the best picture of the year was also a blockbuster — The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Once again, the Oscars opted for a change and Chris Rock took over as host. About 42.1 million viewers watched A Million Dollar Baby get the award for the best film of the year.
There were 38.9 viewers watching Jon Stewart as host and Crash won the best film of the year.
Ellen DeGeneres was the new host of the Oscars and the viewership bumped up over a million and a half. The film The Departed left the show with the award in hand.
After a break of a year, Jon Stewart came back as the host but viewership fell to 32 million. No Country For Old Men took the Oscar home.
Hugh Jackman hosted the show and Slumdog Millionaire won the Oscar for the best picture.
It was decided that perhaps two are better than one and Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin jointly hosted the show which got 41.3 million viewers and The Hurt Locker was the best picture of the year.
Despite a double duo hosting the show (Ann Hathaway and James Franco) the viewers who watched the Oscars fell to 37.9 million. The best picture was The King’s Speech.
Billy Crystal was back at what he does very well, host the Oscars but he could increase the viewers by less than two million and 39.3 million watched The Artist walk away with the award.
Seth McFarlane hosted the awards and brought back over 40 million viewers (40.3 million) and Argo won the best picture award
Ellen DeGenres was back as host and the viewership rose to 43.7 million while 12 Years A Slave got the Best Picture award.
Neil Patrick Harris hosted the Oscars and the viewers decreased to 37.3 million. The Best Picture award went to Birdman.
Chris Rock was back as host but the audience did not come back. There were a few million less at 34.4 when The Spotlight won the award.
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the show with reduced numbers of 32.9 million viewers. The Best Picture award was given to Moonlight.
Despite the show having no host 29.6 million viewers watched Green Book win the Best Picture award.
Once again there was no host and 23.6 million viewers. Parasite won the Best Picture of the Year award.
According to Variety only 9.85 viewers watched the show. This is 58 percent lower than last year’s figure which was much lower than the year before. The award ceremony also got a rating of 1.9 from adults in the age group 18-49. This was a bigger drop — a 64 percent drop from 2020.