If you missed Brad Pitt’s jab at the Senate impeachment trial or Joaquin Phoenix’s anti-milk missive Sunday at the Oscars, you weren’t alone.
The 92nd Academy Awards on ABC registered the lowest ratings in the show’s history, drawing 23.6 million viewers for a 5.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic, according to initial Nielsen figures.
That television share was worse the previous lowest-rated Oscars, the 2018 ceremony, which drew 26.5 million viewers and a 6.8 rating, and represented a 20% decrease in total viewers from the 2019 show, according to AdWeek.
The drop-off was attributed by industry analysts to everything from the timing–the ceremony was held a week after the Super Bowl and two weeks earlier than the previous year–to the lack of blockbuster nominees.
The annual awards show had suffered a four-year decline in viewership until 2019, when the ratings ticked back up in a year that featured no official host. The 2020 show was also hostless.
I have nothing against the most famous people in the world using their privileged, global platform to tell the world what they believe. I even agree with most of it. I just tried to warn them that when they lecture everyday, hard working people, it has the opposite effect. Peace.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) February 10, 2020
This year’s ceremony also featured the first Best Picture win for a non-English-language film, the South Korean dark comedy thriller “Parasite.”
Before the show, comedian Ricky Gervais, a five-time host of the Golden Globes, warned celebrities on Twitter about making political speeches, which failed to deter Mr. Pitt and Mr. Phoenix.
“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton,” cracked Mr. Pitt after his win for Best Supporting Actor in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
Mr. Phoenix, who won the Best Actor award for “Joker,” gave a rambling acceptance speech in support of veganism that included a blast at cow insemination.
The 5.3 demo rating for the Oscars fell below the 5.4 rating for the Grammy Awards two weeks ago on CBS.
The 2020 ceremony is now the lowest-rated #Oscars ever, eclipsing 2018’s telecast. https://t.co/eVz8DLYRYU
— Adweek (@Adweek) February 11, 2020© Copyright (c) 2020 News World Communications, Inc.