The numbers are in. And everyday people like you and me didn’t care to watch Hollywood pat itself on the back.
That’s not entirely true. Six million fewer people were intrigued enough by the Academy Awards to tune in on Sunday night.
The early numbers showed that 26.5 million people watched the broadcast which is down 19.5 per cent from last year’s 32.9 million viewers. In fact, 2018 was an all-time record low for Oscars telecasts.
So what happened? Is the viewing public sick of Hollywood celebrating its overpaid achievements? Or did awards shows become too political and preachy this year which ultimately turned off the public?
It’s hard to say. There’s no real way to find out. It could be a little of column A and a little of column B.
Some industry insiders said it could have been the nominations this year. The major films that people were watching weren’t necessarily up for trophies. Other critics said that all TV shows — be it the Super Bowl or Olympics — have seen a decline in viewership thanks to streaming services and PVRs allowing people to watch what they want, when they want.
I asked around and most people told me they weren’t interested in watching. There was no reason in particular, they just didn’t feel the need to watch it.
A smaller percentage said they don’t watch awards shows so it’s unlikely they felt burnout from all of the broadcasts this year (Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Grammys, etc.).
An even smaller percentage said they didn’t care to hear the rich and famous get on their soapbox to preach to people at home with much less money and influence.
As an entertainment reporter, I have to sit through these types of shows. Admittedly, I live tweet and drink during them so it’s not as painful as you might think. But even I was thinking to myself, “This is a really boring show” this year. I tweeted that they needed something to liven it up — a streaker, I suggested.
It will be interesting to see if adjustments are made to what is televised next year. True, 26 million viewers is still a huge number given today’s TV audience numbers, but the key in entertainment is to give the people what they want. But remember, Hollywood is its own little world.