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Oscars a flop in Nielsens and that's not all

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 25th 2008 8:42PM
OscarsOscar turned 80 last night. For eight decades, Hollywood has been handing out gold statuettes for the best in motion picture arts and sciences. Sadly, last night's show will not have to worry about winning an Emmy. Not only was the show pedestrian, long and uninspired, it was also a bomb in the Nielsen overnight ratings. In fact, it was historically disappointing: averaging just 32 million viewers to become the least watched Oscar telecast ever! EVER, people!

Of course, if you're worried that with ratings so bad, some day the Academy Awards won't be broadcast -- don't. The Oscars, like the Super Bowl, make a fortune for the network broadcasting it. ABC made an average of $1.8 million for each 30-second spot.

Dismal ratings weren't the only thing people were buzzing about in reviewing Sunday's Oscar telecast. On ABC's The View, Whoopi Goldberg, an Oscar-winner (best supporting actress, Ghost,1990) who hosted the show four times (1994, 1996, 1999 and 2002) was ticked off that she was not included in a montage about the previous broadcasts. Although she was shown in a clip when she won her Oscar, the comic actress felt slighted that her past hosting duties were overlooked entirely. "Undoubtedly, I (bleeped) somebody off yet again. You know what, I don't - I don't know," she told her co-hosts on The View.

That wasn't the only touchy subject being talked about today with regard to the Oscars. Many people -- online and off -- were questioning why Brad Renfro was not included in the "memorial" montage. The young actor, who'd starred in The Client among other credits, died of a heroin and morphine overdose on January 15. The montage did include Heath Ledger, who died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, a week after Renfro. When asked why Ledger was included, but Renfro was not, Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy, said, "Unfortunately we cannot include everyone. Our goal is to honor individuals who worked in the many professions and trades of the motion picture industry, not just actors."
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Rex

I think it is funny when people compare the Oscars to the Grammys. Sure there are controversies with the Oscar winners and how it is presented, but the Grammys are absolutely worthless and really don't represent the broad world of music.

I honestly enjoyed the Oscars. There were parts I found dull, but overall it was entertaining. The performance of the song from Once was fantastic (I am very glad they one and appreciated that they gave them both an opportunity to say thanks). I also enjoy the chance to see clips from the films in HD.

My wife prefers the pre-show red carpet stuff.

February 26 2008 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leslie

The Oscars have been getting worse and worse every year! The studio heads who are running Hollywood today, Have Absolutely No Imagination! Everything coming out of Hollywood and Television today is Total & Complete Garbage! And, Bless his heart..Who made the decision to put Jon Stewart as host? He sucks! I do not find him one bit funny. Very boring..I won't waste my time watching the Oscars again. Just a excuse for the elite rich of our society to pat each other on the backs. I could care less...

February 26 2008 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C C

The major problem this year was they didn't really have enough time to prepare after the writer's strike was settled. The producers more-or-less threw this year's show together without any design or framework.

On the Goldderby Forums (where all the movie geeks hang out), they're actually pleased with this year's winners compared with the past few years. Yes, this season's movies overall were downers, but they're actually applauding the fact that the Academy didn't go for the box-office hits and the mainstream stars over the the smaller, more "niche" films and foreign actors. I'm sorry, but over the past 10-15 years we have had some terrible selections for Best Picture because the Academy went with the "popular" film at the time. Remember when Forrest Gump won over The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction? Now people hold Shawshank and Pulp Fiction with much higher esteem than Gump. And the year Titantic won-L.A. Confidential was flat out the better movie, aside of Leo DiCaprio and special effects. And people are still howling over Crash winning over Brokeback Mountain a couple of years ago.

February 26 2008 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aberdeen

I just watch it for the fashion!

February 26 2008 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SilentGuy

The problem with the Academy Awards is that so many of the awards are for things no viewers care about (sound effects editing, makeup) why not do what the grammys and emmys do and give the "lesser" awards prior to the ceremony? The could still have the nominated songs and the never funny patter, but the show would be considerably shorter.

February 26 2008 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bash

I liked it. Period.

Once there is a big blockbuster like "Titanic" up for 12 Oscars and some cute girl and some cute guy are nominated for best actor/actress, women will tune in. Oscar night is something for women anyway, so you can scratch all men from the list of people likely to tune in anyway.

February 26 2008 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rocketboy_X

Just kill it, along with the rest of the award shows. Why do I care if a group of people liked something?

February 26 2008 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkny

I think something needs to be pointed out - the number of people watching this year's show can't be a commentary on this years show. Ask the people who WATCHED if this year's show was good. People not tuning in means they were not interested in seeing the show which probably has a lot to with the top films not being very mainstream and most of the nominees not being household names. You didn't have Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Denzel, Jack or Pacino. Anyway, saying the ratings were bad because of host was boring means you were one of the 12 people watching.

February 26 2008 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TheH2s

I actually watched all 4 hours. I was pleasently surprised that it was pretty enjoyable. Granted it is an awards show so enjoyable is relative but this year was the first time in a very long time I've watched the whole show.

They really could cut out a lot of fluff and make it 3 hours. I think more people will watch if they do this. Four hours is just too long.

February 26 2008 at 8:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Juliette

Did the ratings include webcasts? I watched the show online .

On the subject of the films, I haven't seen the last four Best Picture winners because they all look like depressing misery-fests. I understand that they're all probably very good movies, but for me, the Best Picture of the year is not necessarily going to be a long, long story about men being violent to each other - it just doesn't interest me. Having said that, I thought the best picture I saw in 2006 was Children of Men, which ain't exactly cheerful, but does have a point beyond 'life is crap and men kill each other a lot'.

February 26 2008 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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