The 91st Academy Awards telecast rebounded from a four-year slump to record 29.6 million viewers this time around, an 11 percent rise from 2018’s all-time low, ABC said on Monday.
The increase is welcome news for organizers who stumbled through a series of headline-grabbing missteps in the run-up to the show, including backtracking on a best popular film category and pulling the plug on a host for the first time in three decades.
The hostless and shortened format appear to have pleased viewers, with the 200-minute show broadcast by ABC the most-watched entertainment telecast in two years, ABC said in a statement.
It added that the show had dominated social media Sunday night with 17.7 million interactions, the majority on Twitter (75 percent), followed by Instagram and Facebook.
Apart from a shortened broadcast and a change in format, entertainment experts attribute the rise in viewership this year to the presence of blockbusters and performances by the iconic band Queen and Lady Gaga.