The Oscars earns highest rating since the pandemic with 19.5 million viewers

The gala presented by comedian Jimmy Kimmel increased its audience by 4% over last year, also becoming the most watched awards ceremony of the season.

The Oscars were a hit. The awards ceremony, presented by comedian Jimmy Kimmel and broadcast on ABC, attracted 19.5 million viewers throughout the United States, according to audience data from Nielsen that is adjusted by time zone.

This makes the 96th edition of the most important awards in the film industry the most-watched since the pandemic. In 2020, Variety recalls, the ceremony was followed by a total of 23.64 million viewers. However, a year later, the awards were watched by only 10.4 million viewers, marking an all-time low, due in part to the fact that they were held at the end of April and not at the beginning of March.

After the significant drop, the ceremony progressively recovered its audience, reaching the 19.5 million viewers it garnered this Sunday, which represents an increase of 4% compared to last year, when the gala was watched by a total of 18.76 million viewers.

The Oscars becomes the most-watched gala of awards season

Experts believe the increase could be due to the fact that the ceremony was moved forward an hour, so that the Best Picture award would be given during prime time in the entire United States. This seemed to be the case, as the last half hour, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was watched by a total of 21.9 million viewers.

Despite the slight increase in viewership, Nielsen also detected a drop in the 18-49-year-old audience. Only 5.03 million people in that age group tuned in to the Oscars, slightly lower than the 5.32 million who chose to view the ceremony last year.

This, however was the only negative data that the Oscar ratings show. As happens every year, the awards were the most-watched during the awards season, surpassing the Grammys (17.09 million viewers) and Golden Globes (9.47 million viewers), which also saw a slight increase compared to previous editions. The Emmys had less luck, with only 4.3 million viewers, an all-time low.