23 Feb Back to TV: Oscar Ratings Hit 4-Year Low
And the Oscar goes to …
Last night’s 87th Annual Oscar Awards joined in on the yearly declining ratings seen by other the other awards shows this season, including the Grammy’s. This year’s ceremony, featuring four big Oscar wins for movie-hit “Birdman,” was down 10% in the overnights in comparison to last year’s ceremony, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, that culminated a decade-best score. An article from Variety.com states that Sunday night’s telecast averaged a 25.0 household rating/38 share, making it the lowest rating Oscar awards show since 2011. Double digit rating negatives came from New York, dropping 13%, and Chicago, dropping 10%. It seems as though this year’s awards show cannot be compared in the slightest bit to DeGeneres’ show last year that reached 43.74 million viewers – the third time in five years the show had reached over 40-million views. Contrary to my Grammy ratings shock, the Oscar’s declined ratings are not much of a surprise to me. The majority of the ceremony itself was, to be honest, pretty boring and the social media initiatives didn’t seem up to par, excluding those put in place for the pre-Oscar red carpet interviews. According to Variety.com, social media has been the driving interest behind the season of award shows in the past but this season has proved differently. However, in my opinion, nothing can be compared to the epic selfie taken by Ellen DeGeneres at last year’s ceremony, which could be a factor in why this year’s social media driving force was not so … forceful. The social media interactions for last night’s show hit a peak during Lady Gaga’s powerhouse medley performance to celebrate the anniversary of “The Sound of Music” and Julie Andrews joining her on stage afterwards. I highly agree with Variety.com and their theory for the negative ratings, which is, “A death of diversity among nominees and unfamiliarity with some of the most honored films” (Variety.com). I felt a major disconnect to the awards show because of my personal unfamiliarity with the films featured, other than “American Sniper.” I also feel that host Neil Patrick Harris’ surprisingly, not-so-great performance was a major contribution to the disconnect. But, I think it will be hard for any newcomers to surpass host Ellen DeGeneres’ phenomenal, continuously humorous performance. The newbie hosts have some big shoes to fill and clearly the organizers of this season’s awards shows need to take the next year to carefully craft their strategies and decisions to come back with a bang in 2016.