Didn’t mention Oscars 2021 here on Sunday. Didn’t watch it. Didn’t care. Apparently we weren’t the only ones, as it turned out the smallest viewership ever.
Only 9.85 million viewers tuned into Sunday’s ceremony where Searchlight’s “Nomadland” took the top prize and Netflix walked away with the most wins. That’s a nearly 59% drop from the 23.6 million viewers that turned on their TVs for the program last year, according early fast national numbers released by Nielsen.
We suggested several times last year that they should just lump 2020 and 2021 into one large celebration and awards show. There just weren’t enough movie theater releases and all the major titles, with some exceptions were pushed off to 2021 and beyond. The Academy couldn’t see skipping an annual tradition and pushed on.
What the result was a playing field that favored lesser known, smaller budget films. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Nomadland was the best movie in 2020, really? I don’t know. Anthony Hopkins acting in The Father was great, but was he the best actor of every movie in 2020? Maybe.
Bottom line: it’s done, over and now we can look at 2021. It’s already off to a stronger start than 2020. There should be more interest in the Oscars in 2022, maybe.
We didn’t watch The 2021 Golden Globes on Sunday, did you? Seems like a lot of people didn’t bother.
The blame, at least according to the Deadline article, is on the pandemic. It’s easy to blame most anything bad on that these days, but is it really that simple?
Now, even as these early numbers have all the metrics of an all-time NBC low, let’s be honest, all of these comparisons are a bit apples to avalanches. As with almost everything in Hollywood and the wider world, the pandemic has played havoc with the calendar and the format. Absent much of the atmosphere that gives the Globes its appeal, last night’s glitchy and semi-virtual ceremony also aired nearly two months later than the 2020 show. So, no vital NFL lead-in and little holiday-season spillover, are but two major differences. Additionally, like with the viewership low of the 2020 Emmys, we have seen the Nielsen results of a number of coronavirus-impacted awards shows and other big-ticket events shrink over the past year.
Perhaps the bigger question is what does this mean for the Oscars? We’re on record saying they should have just skipped it this year and included 2020 and 2021 in one big celebration in 2022 (see: Oscars 2021 Still On As Planned As In-Person Event, Not Zoom or Virtual). The pool of movies for consideration is inarguably smaller. Some good candidates in there and some that will be overlooked. If the Oscars are a (mostly) virtual event, and they aren’t supposed to be from early reports, don’t expect those viewing numbers to fare better.