Bradley Cooper, right, congratulates Lady Gaga in the audience after she is announced winner for best original song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Nielsen: 29.6 million viewers for Oscars, up from 2018

The biggest Oscars audience ever recorded came in 1998.

The Oscars ended its four-year streak of dwindling viewership, reaching 29.6 million on Sunday to beat last year’s audience by 12 per cent, but it still represents the second-smallest audience in the award show’s history.

The 2018 show had reached only 26.5 million viewers, a figure that set off alarm bells at ABC and the motion picture academy.

READ MORE: ‘Green Book’ wins best picture at Academy Awards

This year’s show featured movies with more box office juice than in the recent past. It provided a water-cooler controversy over the merits of best picture winner “Green Book,” and some memorable musical performances by Queen and the duo of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

It also went without a host after Kevin Hart backed off, although the trio of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph offered what was essentially an opening monologue.

The Oscars is generally the most-watched entertainment program of the year, often only second to the Super Bowl. Yet its viewership had declined steadily since hitting 43.7 million in 2014, the Nielsen company said.

Despite this year’s rebound, it still represents only the second time since Nielsen has been measuring that viewership slipped under 30 million people.

The biggest Oscars audience ever recorded came in 1998, when 55.2 million people turned out to see “Titanic” named best picture.

ABC also said Monday that its preview of the drama “Whiskey Cavalier” was seen by 4.2 million people after the Oscars ended.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

A party for 11 pups and their adoptive families in Beckwith Park in Saanich

The coonhound siblings reunited at a barbeque on Saturday

HarbourCats bats hot in home return

Victoria squad downs Yakima Valley Pippins 17-2

Victoria veteran receives French Legion of Honour, becoming knight of France

Ted Vaughan was a pilot in the 408 “Goose” Squadron in WW2

Witness the passion and fire of flamenco in Victoria this July

Seventh annual Victoria Flamenco Festival features free and ticketed performances downtown

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read