Oscars draw 43 million viewers
ABC broadcast posts biggest audience in 10 years
March 4, 2014
Though host Ellen DeGeneres drew mixed reviews and people snarked on social media about the long running time for the broadcast, Sunday’s Academy Awards on ABC drew their biggest audience in a decade.
The program averaged 43 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, up 6 percent from the 40.38 million who watched last year.
It marked the third straight year that the broadcast grew over the previous year.
The Oscars also drew the biggest audience for any entertainment program since the series finale of “Friends” posted 52.5 million total viewers on May 6, 2004.
The show was down very slightly among adults 18-49, from a 13.0 last year to a 12.9 last night.
But it grew among adults 18-34 (up 1 percent to a seven-year high) and men 18-34 (up 4 percent to a seven-year high).
That growth is interesting, because last year Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy” and “American Dad,” hosted the ceremony, and his shows are extremely popular among men 18-34.
ABC said that 71.7 million people tuned in to at least 6 minutes of the broadcast at some point from 8:30 p.m. to 11:41 p.m., when the final national commercial break aired.
The audience was likely driven by the popularity of this year’s nominees. A number of them, including “Gravity” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” were also big box office hits, and that always ensures a higher tune-in.
And “Frozen,” which won best animated film and best song, has a huge following among kids. ABC said that the Oscars hit an eight-year high among kids 2-11, up 9 percent over last year, likely because of the popular Disney movie.
Plus the show got strong buzz on Twitter, with overall Oscar activity up 75 percent over last year, which likely helped alert people to tune in to the show.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars” special averaged 6.99 million total viewers from 12:42 a.m. to 1:37 a.m., up 22 percent over last year’s 5.74 million.
Kimmel, who appeared on the red carpet pre-show to hawk the special, also averaged 2.4 million adults 18-49, up 20 percent.
It was the show’s biggest viewership ever on any night of the week, and it came at an ideal time for Kimmel, two weeks after Jimmy Fallon took over as host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” to a great deal of hype and strong ratings.
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