February 25, 2013

The Sked: Oscar Ratings — Not a Disaster — UPDATE

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Based on the fast national ratings for Sunday, the Academy Awards telecast should average around a 13.4 rating with adults 18-49 (adjusting the preliminary 12.1 rating upward to account for the Pacific time zone seeing the show three hours before the normal network feed pattern).  If our estimated adjustment is correct, this would be the best Oscars rating since 2007, when The Departed beat Little Miss Sunshine for Best Picture, and just ahead of 2010 when Hurt Locker stunned Avatar for the win.

We are also estimating the total viewer audience (ages 2 and over) will average just below 42 million, beating 2010’s telecast.

We will update these numbers as the official time-zone-adjusted ratings are released.  The official nationals came in at a 13.0 adult 18-49 rating and 40.3 million viewers 2+ during an average minute of The Oscars, a touch lower than we forecast this morning and now the best Academy Awards since only 2010 (but still up from the last two years filled with art house pictures as Best Picture contenders).

Oscars Ratings Track ABC Adult 18-49 Rating Persons 2+ (millions) Best Picture Winner Major Contender(s) for Best Picture
2013 Feb 24 13.0 40.4 Argo Lincoln
2012 Feb 26 11.7 39.3 The Artist Hugo, The Help
2011 Feb 27 11.8 37.6 The King’s Speech Social Network
2010 Mar 7 13.3 41.6 The Hurt Locker Avatar
2009 Feb 22 12.1 36.9 Slumdog Millionaire Milk
2008 Feb 24 10.7 31.8 No Country for Old Men Juno
2007 Feb 25 14.1 39.9 The Departed Little Miss Sunshine
2006 Mar 5 13.9 38.6 Crash Brokeback Mountain
2005 Feb 27 15.1 42.2 Million Dollar Baby Sideways
2004 Feb 29 15.3 43.6 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Mystic River, Seabiscuit
note: 2013 figures are now official 

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.