ABC’s efforts to market the 90th Academy Awards with a campaign that leaned heavily on last year’s Best Picture envelope snafu couldn’t hold off a 20 percent drop in ratings from 2017’s telecast.
The telecast brought in just 26.5 million viewers, according to data from Nielsen. That fell beneath the previous low of 32 million in 2008.
The best Hollywood’s big night has done in the first round of ratings over the past decade-plus was back in 2005. That broadcast, hosted by Chris Rock, went on to score 42.1 million viewers in the final number. With 12 Years A Slave winning Best Picture, the 2014 Oscars fronted by Ellen DeGeneres (27.9 metered market household rating) drew the biggest overall audience of the 21st century, with 43.7 million tuning in.
The final award of the evening was also the most-discussed moment on Twitter and Facebook Sunday night: The Shape Of Water winning Best Picture.
Close behind were Jordan Peele with his win for Get Out and Frances McDormand’s Best Actress speech. Peele went home with both an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and the most retweeted tweet of the night. It currently has more than 138,000 retweets and over 700,000 likes.