Is This the End of the Oscars as We Know Them? (POLL)
The Oscars were a bit different this year, but one thing that’s remained consistent — even in a pandemic — is the declining ratings.
Every ceremony seems to lose more viewers with every passing year, but 2021 made way for the Academy Awards’ biggest drop yet. Ratings for the April 25 show saw only 9.85 million viewers tune in to see the stars recognized for their work in films from the last year.
To put this number into perspective, it should be noted that the 2020 Oscars pulled in 23.6 million viewers, that’s more than twice the amount of people who tuned in for the ceremony in 2021. And even 2020’s numbers were a big dip from the prior year’s ceremony as 2019 retained 29.5 million viewers.
Adding to the growing problem, this year’s awards didn’t follow the usual protocol, changing things up due to COVID-19, but also likely to try and regain viewership. Instead of following a traditional format that includes presenters, musical performances, montages, and more fun bits, this year’s Oscars have been described by many viewers as boring.
Instead of referring to participants as presenters, they were called “cast members” and introduced categories and nominees in long-winded speeches, rather than showing viewers segments of performances being mentioned. For viewers at home who haven’t seen the films, this tradition typically offers a glimpse at what they’d missed. Without those clips, it was a long evening of talking and listening.
Musical performances featuring the Best Song nominees are also usually part of the ceremony but were moved to a pre-show format instead. This should have allowed for a shorter Oscars ceremony without that aspect included, but the lengthy event still surpassed a three-hour run-time with commercials.
Overall, the awards season has been susceptible to loss of viewership as ratings continue to plummet for major events. But considering just how many viewers the Oscars lost in 2021, we’re wondering, is the annual ceremony finished as a live TV event? Let us know your thoughts in the poll and comments section below.
2021 Oscars, Streaming Now, Hulu