The Oscars drew their biggest audience in five years on Sunday.
ABC’s broadcast of the Academy Awards scored 41.3 million people, according to time zone-adjusted fast national ratings from Nielsen. That’s the biggest audience for the Oscars since the 2005 telecast drew an audience of 42.1 million and an improvement of 5 million viewers over last year.
It’s also the biggest total audience for any entertainment broadcast this season, topping the post-Super Bowl premiere of “Undercover Boss” by 2.7 million viewers.
The Oscars, hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, delivered a 13.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, up a point from the 2009 broadcast. It’s the highest demo rating for the show since 2007’s 14.0.
The presence of 10 best picture nominees — including all-time box office king “Avatar” and big hits like “Up” and “The Blind Side” — may have helped goose the ratings. “The Hurt Locker,” however, ended up as the night’s biggest winner with six Oscars, including best picture and best director Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win that award.
ABC’s “On the Red Carpet” pre-show drew 25.1 million viewers from 8-8:30 p.m. ET, its best showing since 2007. The final Barbara Walters Oscar special averaged 15 million viewers, sending Walters out with her biggest audience since 2002. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” also turned in its best post-Oscar show ever, drawing 4.7 million late-night viewers.
Photo credit: ABC