Ratings: Oscars Draw 40.3 Million Viewers, Largest Audience Since 2010

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Oscars 2013 Ratings IncreaseRatings for ABC’s Seth MacFarlane-hosted broadcast of the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday night showed an increase versus 2012, when Billy Crystal returned as emcee.

According to updated numbers reported by ABC, the Oscars scored a 13.0 demo rating, up 11 percent from last year’s final of 11.7.

UPDATE: In total audience, the telecast averaged 40.3 million viewers, up 3 percent from last year’s show and marking the Academy Awards’ largest draw since 2010′s boffo crowd of 41.3 mil (with host Steve Martin).

Not surprisingly, CBS’ The Amazing Race — the only piece of original broadcast fare to go up against the Oscars — fell 28 percent to a series low of 1.8.



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Comments (36)

  • Basically what I noticed is if you are old, you could not appreciate Seth’s humor. But Oscar’s wanted to attract an younger audience.

    Comment by Mika – February 25, 2013 08:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I am 22.
      I feel so, dated.

      Comment by Alex Green (@docAlextor) – February 25, 2013 09:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Great numbers for Seth. Chew on this Nikki Finke (ok, now I guess my comment will be deleted!)

        Comment by Rick – February 26, 2013 02:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m 51. I think Seth is hysterical!

      Comment by TV Gord – February 25, 2013 09:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And I’m 45 and thought he was edgy and topical while crossing that fine line only 1/2x…loved him!

      Comment by Bubba Tim – February 25, 2013 11:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Not true. I watched the show with a couple in their 60s, and they thought Seth was great. They had never heard of him before, but they were dying with laughter, kept saying, “I like this guy!” and “I hope he hosts again!” It made me happy to see an older generation enjoying Seth like that.

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – February 25, 2013 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like Seth McFarlane. I actually thought some of the jokes were pretty tame. I expected him to take it farther than he did, but I still enjoyed it. It wasn’t boring like previous Oscars.

    Comment by NM – February 25, 2013 09:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Which team was eliminated on The Amazing Race last night? I missed it because of Oscars. :-(

    Comment by Tran – February 25, 2013 09:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The twin doctors.

      Comment by Regal – February 25, 2013 09:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • CBS shouldn’t have aired a new episode of TAR. I watched it and then flipped over to Oscars periodically after 8:30 to see what was going on. CBS would’ve been better off doing a two hour premiere last week then skipping this week, or starting it a week earlier so that two episodes would’ve aired before Oscar Sunday. Then they could’ve aired a repeat of anything. Even 60 Minutes looked like a repeat episode.

        Comment by dan – February 25, 2013 09:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I can’t believe anyone at all watchs tv live..even an award show i’d be watching through my dvr so i could go back and watch something twice, that was funny, then skip ahead if someone I didn’t like started yammering on .. etc . What if you got a phone call.. would you just miss some of it? use the pause button… And, of course on your other tuner you’d have your other show recording.

      Got my first dvr 12 years ago and havn’t watched 100% live tv since then (closest would be a live event only a minute or two off sequence)

      Comment by Tom22 – February 25, 2013 11:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Walking Dead was new. I watched it instead and TiVo’d the Oscars.

    Comment by Kristine S. – February 25, 2013 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Walking Dead isn’t a broadcast show though, as they specified in the article.

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – February 25, 2013 04:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Of course, the increase in ratings could be due to the fact that it was a stellar year for movies and people wants to know who was going to win. I don’t think the host has as much of an effect as they seem to think. I started recording it once we got into the boob song. Was not in the mood for misogyny and sexism. So, I recorded it and fast forwarded a lot this morning. Got a better night’s sleep too!

    Comment by Bobbi – February 25, 2013 09:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jokes weren’t funny and the broadcast was disjointed. Oh here’s the James Bond tribute. Shirley Bassey is singing. Let’s go to commercial and then Adele can sing “Skyfall” a half your later. And the meandering opening monologue could have been cut down so the tacky use of the “Jaws” theme would be unnecessary.

    Comment by adlib19 – February 25, 2013 09:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think you hit on a couple of the problems with the show. It’s expected that not everything will be funny….can’t please everyone right….but bits that were funny went on a little too long. If you’re going to end the opening Shatner bit with three song and dance pieces, then eliminate one of the three “flashforward” pieces. The boob song was funny…(and was really a slam against McFarlane himself, so after doing that, don’t make jokes like that constantly throughout the rest of the show Seth, k?)…as was the sock bit, and about 2/3rds of the Sally Field bit. But it was one too many skits. And the use of the Jaws theme, to me, was funny the first time it was used. But they needed to have a listing of songs to cycle through, since the theme was music (hello producers!?), and use other iconic songs as the wrap up. They should have used the Jaws song on a person they knew would find it amusing. The biggest fail to me was the Bond tribute. First, where were the Bonds? Are you telling me Connery, Moore, Brosnan, Dalton, Lazenby, and Craig were all busy?? You couldn’t have one of them announce the tribute? Second, if your theme of the night is music in movies, and your Bond tribute will be about the music, why do you only highlight the main title theme and two, count ‘em, TWO songs from the 23 Bond theme songs that have been produced over the last 50 years? They didn’t even highlight the only Bond theme that has ever reached #1 on the Billboard charts, Duran Duran’s A View To A Kill! They only highlighted Live And Let Die, and Goldfinger. Where was Shirley Bassey’s ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (she was already there,) Sheryl Crow’s ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, Sheena Easton’s ‘For Your Eyes Only’, Tom Jones’ ‘Thunderball’, Jack White & Alicia Keys’ ‘Another Way To Die’, Carly Simon’s ‘Nobody Does It Better’, Tina Turner’s ‘Goldeneye’, or Garbage’s ‘The World Is Not Enough’? Why not make sure there is at least one song from each decade? It just seemed thrown together.

      Comment by Alichat – February 25, 2013 12:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Totally agree with you– I was most looking forward to the Bond tribute, and while it was awesome to see Shirley Bassey sing Goldfinger live, the whole thing was disappointingly brief.

        Comment by tash – February 25, 2013 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Blame Sean Connery. He didn’t want to take part in it and really, doing a Bond tribute with every Bond but Connery, who is the original and often cited the best, would be too strange. Otherwise yeah we could have had all the Bonds. And the broadcast was already half an hour over. You want to add another 15-20 mins for all the songs you mentioned? Not to mention…Tomorrow Never Dies and Another Way to Die? You really want to hear those again? They picked the three best songs: Live and Let Die and Goldfinger are considered the two best songs, and Skyfall was up for an Oscar.

        Comment by anakinjmt – February 25, 2013 02:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m not saying everyone of these songs needed to be sung in full. I was merely pointing out that there are some great ones that should have been highlighted instead of just the two. (Adele’s doesn’t really count as part of the tribute since it was part of the Best Original Song portion of the show) The Bond tribute montage was three minutes long and only highlighted two songs, the main title theme and ‘Live & Let Die.’ McCartney’s song only played for maybe 30 seconds of that montage. That’s just weak for a 50th year tribute to a movie franchise where you intent to pay tribute via its music. I would have liked to have added at least another 30 seconds to a minute to the montage and have it include at least a snippet from one song from each decade. ‘Goldfinger’ covers the 60s, ‘Live & Let Die’ the 70s, ‘A View To a Kill’ the 80s, ‘Goldeneye’ or ‘The World is Not Enough’ for the 90s, and ‘Another Way To Die’ for the 2000s. They could have taken 30 seconds for each song and that would have only been an additional minute and a half to the montage. Frankly they didn’t need to play the entire title theme in the montage, but they did. Cut some of that, and including three additional songs wouldn’t have added to the piece. Or they could have cut 30 seconds here and there in the show to get that. They could have cut part of his opening for the time. It was 18 minutes long.

          Comment by Alichat – February 25, 2013 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not surprised. Given there was multiple movies that did well commercially. And there was the added drama of the sneak attack of Argo doing so well in the award season. And the Director’s snub for Ben. I actually didn’t mind it. Although the opening went long, and wasn’t as funny as some past openers. And some of his jokes didn’t go off well. But he kept the show going. And the musical interludes worked.

    Comment by Stacey – February 25, 2013 09:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anything that might keep Billy Crystal away is a good thing. He had his day but last year was terrible. Now they have to get rid of the hacky joke writers who’ve probably been doing the show for 30 years. Is it still Bruce Villanch (?) & Elaine Boozler? That’s the real problem.

    Comment by Moria – February 25, 2013 09:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t blame Billy last year. He came in as a substitute judge once Eddie Murphy dropped out. Only a few months before Oscar day. Billy is on record as saying it takes MONTHS to prepare. Especially his big opening number, the introduction piece and to be prepared for anything the Oscars nominations might throw at them. Which is why I think they went back to the old try and true stock of routines. And also the nominations weren’t all that engaging last year… They just didn’t have the time to really go for all new. Seth had a lot more time. And he was supposed to be edgy. And he was all new. I don’t think they will be asking him back…

      Comment by Stacey – February 25, 2013 09:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Last week Seth said that he would only be doing it once because of all the time it takes to prepare. So it doesn’t matter if you think they’ll be asking him back or not!

        Comment by Lauren – February 25, 2013 10:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Interesting thing to learn about the preparation… fun stuff… I love things i hadn’t thought abotu

        Comment by Tom22 – February 25, 2013 11:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Bruce Vilanch wasn’t involved at all this year. McFarlane had his own writers.

      Comment by TMW – February 25, 2013 01:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just present the awards. Leave the jokes out. I’m watching to see the stars accept, not for jokes.

    Comment by Len – February 25, 2013 10:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • On the bright side, James Franco and David Letterman are now off the hook in the Worst Oscar Host Ever sweepstakes.

    Comment by Jules – February 25, 2013 10:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No, not James Franco. He was the worst host / I don’t want to be here, ever!

      Comment by Liz – February 25, 2013 11:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought Seth was fantastic! He seemed polished, prepared, professional. I thought he was very talented and very funny. I was actually surprised and disappointed to see all the negative press about him this morning, and in the world of entertainment not much surprises me anymore.

    Comment by april-ann – February 25, 2013 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No question, ratings were up because of Seth MacFarlane.

    Comment by MichaelM – February 25, 2013 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Speak for yourself. I watched for the Bond tribute; Adele, Anne Hathaway, and Jennifer Lawrence to win; and Best Picture category. Seth McFarlane definitely is not my sense of humor (and I’m a 26 year old male, right in his target audience). Wish Tina Fey and Amy Poehler could have hosted this too.

      Comment by anakinjmt – February 25, 2013 02:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For me, Daniel Day-Lewis’s remark about him playing Thatcher and Meryl Streep playing Lincoln was funnier than most of Seth MacFarlane’s jokes. And it seems like the audience at the theatre thought so, too. Daniel got a louder and longer laugh out of the audience just for that joke alone, while they didn’t react so strongly to Seth’s quips.
    I say, let Tina and Amy host!

    Comment by Sarabi – February 25, 2013 01:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • His first joke about Tommy Lee Jones was a really good One to start the show with. Seth did an amazing job and was hilarious as always. I didn’t understand why he got mixed reviews for hosting the oscars and why people thought His jokes were ‘soft’, If Seth was going to do His own Style of jokes through the entire show critics would be saying he was too rude. I love him

    Comment by Daniel – February 25, 2013 03:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The jw boothe joke was uncalled for. The boob song should have been stopped in its tracks. Didn’t need to see the whole thing to see a “mistake”. I was actually surprised that he was as good as he was. Usually it feels like one award followed by 10 commercials. I think he was speaking too quickly and that ruined the timing on some of his jokes. Bond tribute dumb and you couldn’t hear. As for CB and Rihanna, bad situation, but she refuses to give up and kick his b to the curb. He will not change.

    Comment by Robin – February 25, 2013 04:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought Seth was great. I didn’t find him to be sexist or misogynist. I enjoyed his jokes and songs. He did so well. Some people are being oversensitive and overly critical. I hope he can host next year. It’s just the Oscars, people. Don’t take it so seriously. Geez. Seth gave it his all and came off quite admirably. I swear, some of you would complain no matter how funny the show and host was. You just get off on criticizing others and being negative.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – February 25, 2013 05:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree, Britta. He did so well and was so great at it (he’s a natural at hosting with that voice and that talent coupled with his comfort in front of that camera with THAT crowd) that it made me wonder why his performance was poorly received. The only thing I can think of is that his audience seemed chilly toward him; hence the audience at home reacted to that. Hmm, could it be that his audience at the venue harboured a little resentment ’cause he’s not considered “one of them”?

      Comment by april-ann – February 25, 2013 05:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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