The 94th Academy Awards were held on Sunday and according to Variety, 15.36 million people tuned in to watch on ABC. Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes hosted the event and brought up viewership by 56% from last year’s historic low in audience size. Per time zone adjusted fast national numbers from Nelson, and rose 68% in key demo ratings to 3.2. Last year, same preliminary fast national data, the 2021 ceremony drew in 9.85 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49. The 2022 Oscars that premiered Sunday from 8pm to roughly 11:40pm ET was considerably higher in both measures, but still comes in as the second-least-watched and second-lowest-rated Oscars ceremony of all time,
Despite this, the Oscars were anything but boring. The ceremony began with Beyonce’s remote performance of the King Richard track “Stay Alive” and ended with CODA making history by winning best film. In between, the event took a shocking turn when Will Smith went on stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face while he was presenting after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith went on to win Best Actor for his role in King Richard.
The 2021 Oscars was a hostless ceremony and drew in a record low of 10.5 million viewers with a rating of 2.2. The 2020 ceremony still managed to draw in 23.6 million viewers, as it was aired just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Before, the ceremony averaged 23.6 million viewers. The 2022 Oscars marks the first time in three years that the ceremony has hosts, Jimmy Kimmel’s being the last in 2018 that drew 26.6 million viewers. The Oscar’s increase of viewers from last year hopefully marks a brighter future for the ceremony, but as trends find, almost all award ceremonies are suffering in viewership over the past decade, continuing through the pandemic.