Mar 13, 2023 - Economy

Oscars viewership jumps to 3-year high

The Oscar-winning cast and crew of "Everything Everywhere All at Once": Clockwise, from top left; Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jonathan Wang, Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan in Hollywood, California, on Sunday. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Viewership for the 95th Academy Awards jumped 12% from last year's event, a small sign of momentum for the award show industry, which lost significant viewership during the pandemic.

Why it matters: With 18.7 million viewers, the Oscars on Sunday on ABC garnered more viewers in the past three years than any other award show.

Details: Last year's event drew 16.6 million viewers, a significant increase from the 2021 awards, which drew fewer than 10 million viewers — an all-time low.

Of note: The telecast faced stiff competition from HBO, which aired the season finale of its latest hit, “The Last of Us," at the same time Sunday.

Be smart: This year's event also marked a return to normalcy for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the annual show.

  • The group hired a crisis management team ahead of the big event, just in case another incident akin to last year's now-infamous Will Smith slap, occurred.
  • Instead, the event went off smoothly, with host Jimmy Kimmel even referencing the incident with a few jokes.

The big picture: Ratings for award shows have been in terminal decline for years, but plummeted to new lows during the pandemic when movie theaters and concert venues shut down.

Go deeper: The Oscars fight for relevance in the streaming era

Go deeper