Oscars Reach 18.7 Million Viewers, the Most for Any Awards Show in 3 Years

Sunday’s Oscars hosted by Jimmy Kimmel were slap-less, but still a hit for ABC.

The 95th Academy Awards scored 18.7 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, up 12 percent from last year to the largest audience for any awards show in three years. Among adults 18-49, these Oscars rose 5 percent (from a 3.8 rating last year to a 4.0 last night.) These are what Nielsen calls its “Fast National” numbers — we should get final figures with a slight upward adjustment on Tuesday.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” won Best Picture and six other awards: Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for writer-director duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh, Best Supporting Actress for Jamie Lee Curtis, Best Supporting Actor for Ke Huy Quan, and Best Film Editing.

Find the full list of winners here; IndieWire’s review of the 2023 Oscars can be found here.

Last year’s Academy Awards, the one that will always be remembered for Will Smith smacking presenter Chris Rock, drew an average of 16.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen — a huge improvement over 2021 but still the second-lowest Oscars tally ever. Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes hosted the 2022 show; the previous three years went host-less.

Last year’s Oscars had 15.4 million viewers in Nielsen’s fast-national data.

Rock finally addressed the Smith slap, spurred by an off-the-cuff joke he made at the expense of Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, in a Netflix stand-up comedy special that live-streamed last Saturday. Read IndieWire’s review of the material here.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” had the most nominations, 11, last night. “The Banshees of Inisherin” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” had nine nominations apiece. “Banshees” was completely shut out.

Best Picture nominees were “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Elvis,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Fabelmans,” “TÁR,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Triangle of Sadness,” and “Women Talking.”

Janelle Monáe and Kate Hudson speak onstage during the 95th Annual Academy Awards

Getty Images

The April 25, 2021 Academy Awards settled for a nightmarish 10.5 million total viewers. Fourteen-and-a-half months earlier, the pre-Covid Feb. 9, 2020 Oscars managed 23.6 million total viewers; at the time, it was a record low.

The most-watched Academy Awards ever came in 1998, when “Titanic” won Best Picture. That broke the 1995 record of 48.3 million total viewers, when “Forrest Gump” bested “Pulp Fiction” and “Shawshank Redemption” (as well as “Quiz Show” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) to claim the evening’s final trophy.

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