Oscar ratings continue to rebound with the biggest audience since 2020

Mar 11, 2024, 9:24 PM

Jimmy Kimmel, with Ryan Gosling's Ken pants, hosting the 96th Academy Awards. (Mike Blake, Reuters,...

Jimmy Kimmel, with Ryan Gosling's Ken pants, hosting the 96th Academy Awards. (Mike Blake, Reuters, via CNN Newsource)

(Mike Blake, Reuters, via CNN Newsource)

(CNN) — The Oscars can extend some additional thank-yous to “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie,” as the awards continued to claw back viewers lost during the pandemic with the highest rating in four years, averaging 19.5 million viewers on Sunday night based on Nielsen data released Monday.

That figure represented a 4% gain over 2023. Last year’s Oscars added more than a million viewers on a seven-day basis thanks to delayed playback of the show, so the final audience will grow beyond the same-day figures reported by Nielsen.

The Oscars sank to an all-time low in 2021, a year that saw all award shows slump due to the pandemic. ABC has now registered increases regaining some of that audience in each of the last three years.

The Academy and ABC opted to go with an earlier start time this year, moving up the show an hour to 7 p.m. ET. The combination of that and the switch to Daylight Savings Time figured to depress viewing at the outset, with the hope that finishing by 10:30 p.m. ET would encourage more people to stick things through until the end.

That strategy appears to have been borne out. According to ABC, viewership of the awards peaked at 21.9 million viewers during the final half-hour. This year’s awards were hosted for the fourth time by Jimmy Kimmel.

The Oscars drew 23.6 million viewers in 2020, the last time the show cracked the 20-million plateau in same-day viewing, and at the time, a record-low performance.

Having more widely popular nominees, like “Barbie” and best-picture winner “Oppenheimer,” has long been seen as one way to enhance interest in the telecast.

An episode of the ABC comedy “Abbott Elementary” scheduled after the Oscars also posted a ratings high for that series, with 6.9 million viewers.

KSL 5 TV Live


Payson High School kids attend prom at the school on Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Scott G. Winterton,...

Brianna Chavez

Payson High students celebrate prom with a ‘Footloose’ theme

Saturday morning was busy for many Payson High School students. Hundreds of teens helped build kits for actor Kevin Bacon's charity SixDegrees.

17 hours ago

Remember the scene in "Footloose" when Ariel climbs out of her friends' moving car and tries to get...

Emma Benson

Everybody cut loose: Utah actress recalls experience filming ‘Footloose’

Remember the scene in "Footloose" when Ariel climbs out of her friends' moving car and tries to get into her boyfriend's truck? The driver – Ariel's friend, Edna – was played by then-19-year-old BYU acting student Kim Abunuwara.

23 hours ago

Actor Kevin Bacon made an appearance in Payson on Saturday morning as part of festivities leading u...

Lottie Elizabeth Johnson, Margaret Darby, Deseret News

‘You were all just tireless’: Kevin Bacon praises Payson High students as he returns to ‘Footloose’ roots

Getting Kevin Bacon to come to Payson, Utah, was no easy feat. Just about anyone who has spent the past year trying to get his attention will tell you that.

23 hours ago

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: A young fan displays her ticket for Taylor Swift's first Sydney co...

Anita Snow, Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Special LP releases, live performances and at least one giant block party are scheduled around the U.S. Saturday as hundreds of shops celebrate Record Store Day during a surge of interest in vinyl during a surge of interest in vinyl and the day after the release of Taylor Swift's latest album.

1 day ago

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks as he joins Ryan Smith, co-founder and chairman of Smith Enter...

Michael Houck and Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

Smith Entertainment Group addresses the logistics and politics of bringing the NHL to Utah

On Friday, the NHL and the new owners of the Utah NHL team discussed the exciting opportunities that the team can bring to Beehive State.

2 days ago

Bluey and two other cartoon dogs point...

Cheyanne Mumphrey, Associated Press

Not a toddler, not a parent, but still love ‘Bluey’? You’re not alone

A small blue dog named Bluey with an Australian accent has captured the hearts of people across the world.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Oscar ratings continue to rebound with the biggest audience since 2020