Ratings: Oscars Audience Drops to New Low, Viewers Give Telecast an 'F' Grade

To the surprise of exactly no one, this year’s Oscars telecast won zero awards for viewership.

ABC’s presentation of the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night averaged 9.9 million total viewers and a 1.9 demo rating (per preliminary Nielsen numbers). That is, quite expectedly, down sharply — 58 and 64 percent — from last year’s numbers (23.6 million/5.3 rating) to mark brand-new all-time lows.

(Prior to 2020’s first host-less Oscars outing, the “record holder” for lowest numbers was the 2018 telecast hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, which drew 26.5 mil and a 6.8 rating.)

TVLine readers gave the ceremony — which was carefully held in-person (amid a pandemic), went again without a host, and featured shockingly few clips of the nominated actors/films — an average grade of “F,” which just might be a TVLine first. Ouch.

All that said… in an era where awards show viewership has been on a decline (and many opinionated commenters are about to school you on exactly why that is!), Sunday’s Academy Awards outdrew both this year’s Grammys (which averaged 8.8 million viewers, down 50 percent YOY) and the Golden Globes (6.9 mil, down 60 percent) — both of which fell to their own all-time lows.

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