Speed Reads

far from the shallow now

Oscars ratings improve for the first time in 5 years

The Academy has plenty of reason to celebrate after Sunday's Oscars, which not only received positive reviews but improved its ratings for the first time in five years.

An average of 29.6 million people watched this year's Academy Awards, reports Deadline. This is an increase of more than 3 million viewers compared to last year's show, which was seen by 26.5 million people and was the lowest-rated ever.

Of course, this just makes the 2019 Oscars the second-lowest rated ever, falling bellow 2017's audience of 32.9 million people. Still, just the fact that the ratings didn't sink further, let alone that they went up, is an undeniable victory.

The 2018 Oscars' ratings were so disastrous that the Academy assembled afterward to discuss ways to boost viewership, per Variety. This was why a series of shake-ups were announced leading up to Sunday's show, including the addition of a "popular film" award and the plan to not give out every Oscar live. The Academy also announced it would cut the telecast down to three hours.

All of the Academy's proposed changes were ultimately abandoned after facing backlash. But funnily enough, the ratings improved anyway. The fact that so many high-grossing films like Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody were nominated for Best Picture was likely the main reason for the improvement, though it's possible all the controversies may have driven interest.

Perhaps the positive response to this show will force the Academy to wonder if it should forgo a host again, and possibly encourage producers to continue trying to reduce the show's length, seeing as the shortest Oscars in seven years was also the highest rated. And with the ratings going up after blockbuster films had a larger presence, the popular film award, which is still on the table, may be more likely than ever.