Oscar Ratings: Return Of Chris Rock Sees Show Hit 8-Year Low

Comedian Chris Rock hosts the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016.     REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni   TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY   - RTS8FZA

Comedian Chris Rock hosts the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTS8FZA

Chris Rock came out swinging in one of the most anticipated opening monologues in years and took on the diversity controversy from the get-go at the 88th Academy Awards. Last night also saw Brie Larson win Best Actress, Leonardo DiCaprio snag Best Actor in his fifth nomination, Alejandro G. Iñárritu was named Best Director and Spotlight won Best Picture. With all that, the Oscars themselves did not have a great night ratings-wise with a 23.1/37 in metered market results.

Declining to an 8-year low, that’s down 6% from the 24.6/39 that the ceremony got last year in early results from the 56 markets across the country. That 2015 Neil Patrick Harris=hosted Oscars were matched with the 2011 Oscars for the third worst the Academy Awards has done in MM ratings since the last time Rock fronted the gig in 2005 – only 2009’s Hugh Jackman-hosted 23.3 and 2008’s Jon Stewart-hosted 21.9 were lower. Obviously, in the early results, last night’s show dipped below 2009 and close to 2008 numbers.

The 2005 Oscars were the best the show has done in the past decade with a 30.1/43 MM rating. That high has also remained true in later numbers for the show. With Million Dollar Baby winning Best Picture, the 2005 Oscars ended up with a massive 42.14 million viewers and 19.6 million among adults 18-49. In both categories, that was a dip from 2004’s results. Compared to the last time Rock hosted 11-years ago, last night’s 8:30 – midnight show was down 23% in metered market results – much more than a dip.

In local people meters, last night’s Rock-hosted show averaged a 13.5/7 among adults 18-49 according to Nielsen. That’s a 3% slip from the LPM markets for the 2015 Oscars.

Last year’s Oscars ended up with 37.3 million total viewers and an 11.0/26 rating in the key demo. That was the lowest performance among adults 18-49 since 2008 and the lowest viewership since 2009. We will update with more numbers from last night’s Oscars as they come in to see where the 2016 Oscars ultimately ends up.

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