The Oscars Tanked. Are You Surprised?

By SuperSpy 

Despite the annual Oscar party night rituals, this year’s event was the lowest rated ever. Nielsen has the broadcast making history – the ABC telecast averaged 32 million viewers, the smallest amount of eyeballs ever. Between 2007 and 2008, the show lost 8 million viewers. Eight fricking million! Nothing to sneeze at.

Mediapost got this quote from Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director for Horizon Media: “I thought it would be the reverse. There was no Golden Globes, no People’s Choice Awards. It wasn’t about saturation. It wasn’t because of a lack of award shows.”


Who is to blame? E! is making a case that the show was male dominated excluding women from what many call a “Super Bowl for the ladies.”

“Last year, with host Ellen DeGeneres at the helm, the Oscars was up across the board with women viewers… The show’s disconnect with its target audience might have stemmed not so much from Stewart, who generally won good reviews, but from the top nominees, a pack of films with nary a female touch, led by Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men, that [Jon] Stewart himself jokingly described as “psychopathic killer movies.”

We’d buy that, but the films were also not “mega movies.” Michael Clayton, which we loved, wasn’t seen by too many folks. Consider that the most watched Oscar broadcast ever, with 55 million viewers, was the 1998 show where Titanic was the main attraction. Didn’t everyone and their mother see that film? Mass appeal, y’know?

And then, maybe their is something to be said for the public having their fill of celebrity. The Grammys, were also in a slump this year. Could it be that with blogs like Perez, the mass amount of daily celeb junk rags, shows like TMZ hawking all angles of celebrity life that consumers feel no need to rush over to the telly and gawk at the stars during the Oscar’s? Why run to the TV when you can get all the highlights on YouTube and check out the dresses complete with snarky commentary on Jezebel the next morning?

No matter the factors, brands such as General Motors, American Express, and Mars Inc.’s M&M are surely not going to dump their $1.8 million for a 30-second spot next year.