Oscars Viewership Drops to Record Low with Less Than 10 Million Tuning In (Reports)

Last year's viewership reached 23.6 million viewers — already an all-time low

Frances McDormand
Photo: AMPAS/ABC via Getty

The 2021 Oscars saw a steep decline in viewership.

The 93rd annual Academy Awards were watched by 9.85 million viewers, according to Variety's report of the Nielsen Live+Same Day preliminary national numbers. That accounts for a 58.3% drop, losing 13.75 million viewers from last year's numbers, per the outlet.

Nielsen's final numbers are expected on Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

Last year's viewership reached 23.6 million viewers — already an all-time low at the time.

The ceremony was likely hampered by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, which has largely kept audiences out of movie theaters since last March.

The night's big winner at the pared-down Oscars was Nomadland, which won Best Picture. It also took home Best Director for Chloé Zhao and Best Actress for Frances McDormand, her third Oscar win.

chloe zhao and frances mcdormand in nomadland
Chloé Zhao and Frances McDormand in Nomadland. 20th Century Fox

The other acting winners included Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah, Youn Yuh-jung for Minari and Anthony Hopkins for The Father, the last award of the night. Hopkins won over the late Chadwick Boseman, who many assumed would receive a posthumous win.

Regina King kicked off the show on an ultra-glam note, with a classic Hollywood cinematic intro as she strutted past paparazzi into the Dolby Theatre with an Oscar statuette in hand.

"Oh Jesus, I made it," she said, before tripping beside the podium and remarking about the travails of being on live TV. King's directorial debut One Night in Miami... was up for three nominations.

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