• The Oscars have had historically low ratings in recent years
  • There had been talk of abolishing award ceremonies altogether
  • The 2022 Oscars ceremony had great television ratings once again

It has largely been said in recent years that the Academy Awards had become a stale and boring affair involving the "who is who" of Hollywood patting themselves on the back for their work in the past year. During the coronavirus pandemic the live televised ceremony saw its ratings drop significantly, with many fearing that the end of televised award shows could be closer than anyone realized as audiences simply stopped tuning in.

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The Academy Awards Are Back On Top


For many it came down to a lack of sensibility that Hollywood showed in recent times, including displacing several homeless residents around the Kodak Theatre where the awards are held back in 2021, to end up giving the Oscar for Best Picture to Nomadland, which is a film that takes a hard look at homelessness.

And so everything seemed to indicate that this year's Oscars would have a smaller audience again. But that wasn't the case. The Oscars rating jumped a remarkable 56% in comparison to last year's ceremony.

At least 15.3 million people watched Sunday's 94th Oscar Awards, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen, up from 9.85 million that that were counted in immediately following last year's show. But why? Prior to the pandemic, no Oscars telecast had ever fallen below 20 million viewers.

It looks like not having the show be the usual in-person affair, not to mention all of the ongoing social problems surrounding the ceremony in past years affected ratings greatly. But this year's awards were a return to normalcy...except for the slap heard around the world!

Television History Made With One Swing Of The Hand

Will Smith's now infamous tantrum where he stepped on stage and slapped Chris Rock after one of his jokes became one of the most viral moments of the year, even as the ceremony was still ongoing. This certainly helped boost the ratings halfway through the show as people reacted in real time to what was happening and tuned in.

Leaving many to feel that perhaps this was a publicity stunt to do just that, boost ratings, as thousands stayed tuned to see what would happen, and if Smith would win his Oscar after all.

All that being said, after years of a dwindling viewership, and constant accusations of tone-deafness, it seems the Academy is finally giving viewers what they want: some entertainment! One way or another, people tuned in to watch. The ceremony's focus on diversity and inclusion also saw some new faces in the audience, and that can only help as well.

Let's wait and see what next year's ceremony holds!