Frances McDormand wins Best Actress Oscar for third time

Oscars ratings sink to devastating new low with fewer than 10 million tuning in

This marks a 58 per cent drop from last year’s record low viewership

Rachel Brodsky
Los Angeles
Tuesday 27 April 2021 10:44
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Ratings for the 93rd Academy Awards have hit an all-time low.

According to Nielsen, about 9.85 million people watched last night's (25 April) telecast, which marks a 58 per cent drop from last year’s record low.

As The New York Times points out, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was expecting a ratings drop this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic shuttering movie theatres and putting a damper on televised awards ceremonies.

ABC, which broadcasts the ceremony, does not guarantee an audience size to Oscar advertisers. According to The New York Times, Google, General Motors, Rolex and Verizon spent an estimated $2m for each 30-second spot in this year's telecast, which is only a slight decline from last year.

Back in March, ratings for the 2021 Golden Globe Awards on NBC were down by more than half, compared to the 2020 ceremony, according to Nielsen, while ratings for this year’s 63rd annual Grammy Awards were also the lowest in the telecast's history.

Due to coronavirus, the Oscars moved out of their usual venue, the Dolby Theatre, and were based out of Los Angeles’s Union Station instead. The ceremony’s format was overhauled too, with attendees observing social distancing and some joining via video link from other parts of the world.

Road movie Nomadland won the top prize, while director Chloe Zhao also made history, becoming the first woman of colour to win the award for directing, and the second woman in history — and the film scooped the Best Actress prize for its star Frances McDormand.

Sir Anthony Hopkins won the Best Actor Oscar — his first since The Silence of the Lambs in 1992 — for his performance in The Father, about a man slipping into dementia, defeating presumptive favourite Chadwick Boseman, who died last year aged 43 following a private four-year battle with colon cancer.

Daniel Kaluuya was also the first black British winner of the best Supporting Actor prize for his turn as community organiser and member of the Black Panther Party Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah.

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