Updated: ABC Draws 36.3 Mil. for Oscars, Says Nielsen


Based on the fast national ratings from Nielsen Media Research, The 81st Annual Academy Awards on ABC averaged a hefty 36.3 million viewers with a 12.1 rating among adults 18-49 on Sunday.

Comparably, that makes it the most-watched entertainment telecast since the 79th Annual festivities on Feb. 25, 2007, and highest rated among adults 18-49 since Fox’s American Idol on Feb. 12, 2008. Year-to-year, The Oscars built by 4.3 million viewers (36.3 vs. 32.0 million), 13 percent among adults 18-49 (12.1 vs. 10.7) and as high as 22 percent among men 18-34 (8.9 vs. 7.3). ABC is reporting that The 81st Annual Academy Awards reached 67.56 million unique viewers (who watched at least six minutes of the telecast).

Earlier in the evening on ABC was The Barbara Walters Special at 11.6 million viewers and a 3.2 among adults 18-49 from 7-8 p.m., followed by Oscar’s Red Carpet 2009 preshow at 24.3 million viewers and a 7.2 in the demo at 8 p.m. 

Comparatively, that was an increase of 2.8 million viewers and 13 percent among adults 18-49 for the Red Carpet special from one year earlier.

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