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Middle America did not watch the Oscars this year

(Photo: Getty Images/AFP, Mark Ralston)

Thanks to a last-minute twist ending/very embarrassing mix-up, Sunday’s Academy Awards broadcast just might’ve been the most exciting awards show of all time. It’s the sort of thing that Hollywood is going to be talking about forever, and the people who watched it happen live are going to get significant movie snob cred when they regale their friends with the story of the La La Land producer who revealed the mix-up. Unfortunately, though, a significant chunk of the country didn’t actually watch the Oscars, either because they had already gone to sleep or because God’s Not Dead 2 didn’t receive enough nominations, and they missed out on the whole thing.

According to a Variety report, the Oscar ratings were the lowest in nine years, pulling in 32.9 million viewers. Last year’s broadcast got 34.3 million, 2015 got 37.3, and 2014 got a (relatively) staggering 43.7. In fact, the only areas where the Oscars did fine were big cities, specifically New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, with the rest of Middle America evidently missing out.


It seems unlikely that this year’s amazing ending will translate to higher ratings for next year’s Oscars, but maybe they can turn every award into some kind of ridiculous stunt. It might eventually turn into The Hunger Games, but it’ll still be a lot of fun.

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