Primetime Ratings: Host-Free Oscars See Increase

ABC won the Sunday ratings race by a mile, as the Academy Awards, saluting the finest films of the year, led the network to a 6.0 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 23 share. The rivals were playing for scraps. Runners-up CBS and NBC both did a 0.6/2.

The Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live From the Red Carpet did a 4.1, up a tenth from last year, and the awards telecast a 6.6, with 25.5 million total viewers. Last year’s Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, rated a 6.4, with 26.5 million total viewers.

The Oscars did not feature a host for the first time since 1989. Classic rock band Queen, with Adam Lambert filling in on vocals, kicked off the show. Green Book was awarded Best Picture.

CBS had 60 Minutes at 0.8, same as last week, and then repeats.

NBC had reruns throughout prime.

Fox did a 0.5/2 with repeated comedies.

Telemundo rated a 0.4/2 and Univision a 0.3/1.

The CW got a 0.2/1 with reruns. 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.