UPDATE: Oscar Ratings Dip 10 Percent From '10

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UPDATE: The 83rd Annual Academy Awards attracted 37.6 million viewers, down 10 percent from last year’s telecast (which drew 41.7 million). Among adults 18-49, the drop was a more severe 12 percent (11.7 rating vs. 13.3) — ironic considering James Franco and Anne Hathaway were hired to bring in more younger viewers.

ORIGINAL STORY: Early indications are that Sunday’s Oscar telecast wasn’t a complete dud, ratings-wise at least.

Based on preliminary data, the critically panned James Franco/Anne Hathaway-hosted ceremony averaged a 24.6 rating and a 37 share in the metered markets. That represents a modest 7 percent decline compared to last year. More detailed numbers — including a total viewer tally and demo data — will be available later this afternoon.

In other Oscar news, a clip of one of Franco and Hathaway’s “lost” Oscar bits has surfaced on the web. Watch it and join me in wondering, “And they cut this why?”

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Comments (29)

  • Why was it cut, you ask? Because it was good and might have given some “life” to the show. That’s why.

    Comment by Mark Adams – February 28, 2011 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They said in an interview right before the show aired that the clip it was a red herring. It was “leaked” to create interest before the show.

      Comment by Amanda – February 28, 2011 10:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m not at all sure why they’re getting panned. I liked them a lot. It was nice to see them enjoying themselves and not taking the entire thing SO seriously.

    Comment by Cait – February 28, 2011 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Who knows if they were enjoying themselves? They were so heavily scripted, even Hathaways laughing and giggling seemed manufactured. There’s a good reason why only seasoned actors and comics are usually hosts – they’re able to improvise on the fly. When Tom Hooper thanked his mom for finding him The King’s Speech and told the audience they should always listen to their mom, I expected Franco to say something appropriate. You could see Hilary Swank and her co-presenter were impressed with the story and asked him some questions afterward, but Franco didn’t go off script for a second.
      As for the Grease parody, it’s OK but didn’t do a lot for me. But I would sooner have seen it aired than have Hathaway do that lame song about how Hugh Jackman wimped out on her and wouldn’t sing a song with her. What the hell? Who on earth found THAT funny or interesting in any kind of way?
      I don’t think hosting this show did favours for either of their careers. They both came across as stiff and unnatural. Franco esp. looked very bored during long stretches. She looked totally out of her depth. And most of the dresses that Hathaway wore looked hideous, esp. the sapphire blue one near the end. Kind of like very bad bridesmaid dresses.

      Comment by sashay – February 28, 2011 09:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I thought all of her dresses were gorgeous. The blue one did look a little “latexy” to me though. I think she did the best job she could with her dud of a cohost. I knew it was not a good idea when they first announced him as host. He’s a great actor, he just doesn’t play himself very well.

        Comment by Amanda – February 28, 2011 10:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Though I like Anne Hathaway and James Franko as actors, I thought they brought nothing special to the table last night. The whole thing was kinda boring.

    Unrelated: This past week’s Fringe was spectacular, here’s hoping it gets renewed.

    Comment by Andrew T Funk – February 28, 2011 08:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Anne & James but the best part was their use of Bob Hope.

    Comment by Darrell – February 28, 2011 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If you looked in the small print of the credits, the “new” part of Bob Hope’s performance was voiced by Dave Thomas of SCTV, who has been imitating Hope for over 30 years.

      Comment by Rock Golf – February 28, 2011 09:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Awesome that you noticed that! I’ve missed seeing Dave on the airwaves. This might be as close as we come for awhile.

        Comment by sashay – February 28, 2011 09:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Unfortunately, Billy Crystal set the bar really high and it’s difficult for anybody to reach it. Although some have come somewhat close, Anne and James did not even stand near it.

    Comment by Cdn Izzy – February 28, 2011 09:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought they were really good–they were charismatic, had fun, very light on their feet. The writing is what needed work, yeesh!

    But why in the world was THIS CUT? This needed to make it in.

    Comment by Michael – February 28, 2011 09:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I lost interest very early. Hathaway and Franco were toooooo boring. Bringing Kirk Douglas on as a presentor was not an enjoyable moment. Thought Franco was to stuffed shirt and Hathaway went way overboard. Would have preferred Alec Baldwin or Billy Crystal or someone similar.

    Comment by Glenn Gillihan – February 28, 2011 09:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Kirk Douglas agreed to be a presenter because Monique – who won last year and whose duty it was to be there – refused to come. I guess she was too busy running away from a bottle of Nair. We should remember that the Oscars ceremony is ultimately an industry event and, as such, is primarily a Senior Prom for those who belong to it. Thus, the presence of Mr. Douglas was a thrill for those who were there because he is respected as a movie star and legend, he is charming, and he is a survivor. He has paid his dues and earned his place in movie history.

      Comment by Chatty – February 28, 2011 01:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked Anne a lot (but she needs to smooth over the little “flubs” better). I thought James needed to stop live texting and focus on his job. Then he might have looked like more of a professional.

    In general, everyone over 40 looked like they knew what they were doing and the younger set looked like they needed more experience. Maybe Jeff Bridges and Sandy Bullock next year?

    Comment by Allison – February 28, 2011 09:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought they were pretty great as hosts when they had the time to do bits, like the song Anne sang and James coming out in the dress. I waited all night for that Grease clip and I wish it had aired, because it was awesome.

    Comment by Brynna – February 28, 2011 09:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am totally not suripse the ratings were down because it differently was probably the worst OScars since Chris Rock in my oppion

    Comment by krysssie – February 28, 2011 09:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think a lot of people are forgetting the writers… they’re the ones who put the words in the hosts’ mouths (for the most part). I think that, other than the opening sequence, they did a crappy job of writing entertaining lines for them. The whole thing also seemed slightly disorganized, and that goes to the director… So Anne and James aren’t the only ones to blame here!

    Comment by Sarah Berardinetti – February 28, 2011 09:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, Don Mischer, who directed this debacle, really did a crappy job. His camera angles were so often awkward and wrong, and he wasn’t able to create any truly great moment. Pity, because the stage was a work of art.
      Anne was kinda charming, but she’s just a bit too cute and bubbly for an Oscar ceremony. So there was no way for her to save this hosting fiasco.

      Let’s hope the Academy learns and brings back Gil Cates as the producer, Louis J. Horwitz as director (who won several Emmys directing Oscar telecasts), and either BIlly Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg or Hugh Jackman back as host for next year’s event.

      Comment by Lambsilencer – February 28, 2011 09:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’d like Hugh Jackman or Craig Ferguson. Or Cate Blanchett, who had the funniest line of the night. (Oooh gross! After seeing the clip of The Wolfman for special effects).

        Comment by sashay – February 28, 2011 10:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • As much as I love Craig Ferguson he no longer even tries to control his foul mouth. I don’t know why he’s become that way. It’s really distracting to watch his show now with constant flags over his mouth and “tutti frutti” dubbing.

          The directing last night was awful. I agree for sure. Also, they have had basically the same writers every year. They need to get rid of them and get fresher ones or go back to hiring people like Billy Crystal who put their two cents in on the script as well as do terrific improv.

          Comment by Amanda – February 28, 2011 10:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Billy Crystal and the dead Bob Hope (who still made me laugh)were the best part of the telecast. Enough said.

    Comment by Anne – February 28, 2011 09:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved Anne but thought Franco looked and acted stoned the entire time. She was cute and charming, he was dead weight.

    Comment by xav – February 28, 2011 10:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I got that impression too, especially if you watched his pre-show interview on ABC.

      Comment by AlistairCrane – February 28, 2011 11:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like Anne Hathaway but it looked like she was nervous and that’s why she was giggling and talking too fast as she was presenting? Doesn’t seem right for this kind of awards show. James Franco is awesome too but he looked bored out of his mind most of the time. I wish the writers had gaven them funnier bits. The opening sequence was really funny and Anne has a great voice for Les Miz!! Other than that it was pretty awkward watching them but I give them kudos for putting themselves out there.

    Comment by Jane – February 28, 2011 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hathaway and Franco seem like nice people. Unfortunately, nice people do good Oscar hosts make.

    Comment by Mel – February 28, 2011 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While their performance at the Oscars was not memorable or anything, it was not at all bad.

    Comment by Sourabh – February 28, 2011 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was just a boring, paint-by-numbers show. There was no surprise in the acting categories, and everything just seemed to go by the book, chugging along til the end. There was nothing wrong with this year’s show, but there was nothing particularly exceptional about it either. I’d rate it a B.

    Comment by AlistairCrane – February 28, 2011 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I finally figured out who James Franco reminds me of – Lewis Smith, who played Charles Main in the miniseries North & South. (And he was probably my least favorite character in N&S). I thought Anne looked wonderful (I’m amazed that they were able to change her hair each time they changed her dress w/o making it look like a rats’ nest). She really tried with what she was given…not sure I’d say the same thing about James.

    Comment by Julie W – February 28, 2011 11:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought they both did a pretty good job. I think one of the reasons the ratings were down was because there really weren’t any surprises this year – everyone knew who was going to win. And, as someone in the “key demographic” the movie that I wanted to win Best Picture was going to lose. I watched because I enjoy award shows, but, if you don’t enjoy them, there was no reason to watch – especially with an epic Heat v. Knicks game on and college basketball.

    Comment by KSM – February 28, 2011 03:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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