2012 Oscar Ratings Up 4% From 2011

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:03 am,

billy crystal oscar ratings 2012 2012 Oscar Ratings Up 4% From 2011

Despite the onslaught of niche theatrical nominees, ABC’s broadcast of The 84th Academy Awards still managed to garner a 4% rise in the ratings from last year – thanks to Billy Crystal returning as host.

In total, 39.3 million viewers tuned in to see Crystal take the stage once again. Unfortunately, Crystal’s return, while generally entertaining, was not the ratings winner that everyone had hoped to be. Never before had the Oscars failed to attract fewer than 40 million viewers with Crystal hosting.

The host, however, is not the only factor that impacts the ratings of the Oscars. Most important is the popularity of the movies nominated in the top categories. While the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt may have been nominated, this year’s Academy Awards contained few box-office heavyweights, in favor of more artsy type films, such as this year’s Best Picture winner, The Artist.

In comparison, the Oscars received its highest ratings (55.2 million) in 1998 when Titanic won 11 Oscars, as well as being on its way to becoming the highest grossing film ever at the time.

Last year, in an attempt to court a younger viewing audience, the Oscars brought in Anne Hathaway and James Franco as hosts, but the two failed to display proper chemistry and gave a lackluster performance of their own. And while the ratings may have been up this past year, the Oscars are no longer the most watched awards show of the year (in America).

For the first time in history the Grammy’s pulled in a greater audience than the Academy Awards, with 39.9 million viewers. This may only be slightly higher than this year’s Oscar numbers of 39.3 million, but the Grammy’s totally dominated among adults 18-49, with the music show capturing a 14.1 demo share compared to the Oscars 11.7.

Overall, the general consensus from all those watching is that the Oscars must find a way to transition itself to a new generation. While the two-second appearance from Justin Bieber was generally considered a ill-planned approach at grabbing the attention of those who are unable to even attend R-rated movies, there needs to be a more concerted effort to make Hollywood’s most prestigious awards show more approachable to those who actually attend films, and not just those who make them.


The 84th Academy Awards aired on Sunday, February 26, on ABC

Source: Entertainment Weekly

TAGS: Oscars
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  1. I really dont think the host has much to do with the success of these things. More people were just bored that night or regularly scheduled proramming was worse than last year.

    • lol…truer words were never spoken

      celebrities really are too full of themselves…not to say they’re not entertaining but still, c’mooooon, we only love y’all cause theres s*** all to really enjoy on tv/the internet.

      ^^^ what i just said is also supported by thinking about how fast celebrities come and go, “15 minutes of fame”, as soon as something more entertaining comes along…they’re outta there!!

      i wouldn’t be surprised if celebrities didn’t exist in a couple of decades…

      …who am i kidding, that’s never gonna happen…they’re great for the economy!

  2. walking dead

  3. I’d be interested to see the first half vs second half numbers, because I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people under 50 tuned out after the first half hour.

  4. Fame has been replaced by celebrity. Times have changed.

    What was once an opportunity to see stars that
    were rarely seen outside the movies and hence
    a reason to tune in to see them is now just
    another chance to see celebrities that
    are seen and heard from constantly.

  5. Well considering the team snooze-fest of Anne Hathaway and James Franco from last year anything would improve on it. Billy C was solid as usual.

  6. An interesting article, thanks for sharing. One thing that stood out in particular was the mention of the Oscars in which Titanic won 11 awards (I believe this to have been the 70th Academy Awards of 1997). There was, at that time, a greater sense of creativity and wonder in the world of movie making. Films like Good Will Hunting, The Apostle, L.A. Confidential, The Sweet Hereafter and the aforementioned Titanic were all nominated that year in various categories. It was also the year of As Good As It Gets and The Full Monty. Several ‘gems’ of Hollywood and not a remake or 3D sequel in the batch. Helen Hunt beat out Judi Dench, Julie Christie and Helena Bonham Carter. Kim Basinger beat Julianne Moore. Robin Williams beat Anthony Hopkins! We also had great actors like Duvall, Fonda, Nicholson and Hoffman competing against a young guy like Matt Damon for Best Actor.

    What we didn’t have: The internet, being pumped into every home around the nation. I’m not sure if people place as much importance on the awards, not because of something lacking in the programming, but rather because we’re so inundated by ‘celebrity’ these days. The word itself is synonymous with tabloid fodder and reality television now. When a person can become a trendsetter for releasing a sex tape and inheriting their parents’ fortune, it lessens the influence of Hollywood. There were ‘movie stars’ then, people we did not know much about when the cameras stopped rolling. That contributed to our sense of wonder, in my opinion. It’s not as easy now to feel that sense of grandeur with the awards shows in the age of Twitter, iPhones or all the other devices that allow people to see every tiny detail about these ‘icons’. If ever the mystery of Tinseltown and being a celebrity returns, maybe the ratings to the big events will return too. Just my opinion, of course, and it’s not lost on me that I’m expressing it on a web site. :)