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The 94th Academy Awards had a larger audience than they did in last year’s least watched Oscar performance.

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The 94th Academy Awards had a larger audience than they did in last year’s least watched Oscar performance. Sunday’s show, however, is still below the previous year as both television viewing and moviegoing have experienced significant changes recently.

According to time zone-adjusted national ratings from Nielsen, ABC’s broadcast of the drew 15.36 million viewers and a 3.2 rating among adults 18-49 (early, unadjusted figures had the show at 13.73 million viewers and a 2.9 in the key ad demographic) but they don’t include out-of-home viewing, though that will be rolled into the final same-day numbers that will be out Tuesday morning or streaming. Live telecast

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The early figures accounted for Sunday’s show well ahead of the final figures from the scaled-down ceremony last year, which had 10.4 million viewers and a 2.12 rating in the 18-49 demographic. The time zone adjusted figures show a 48 percent increase in total viewers and a 51 percent rise in adults 18-49, with increases of 56 percent in viewers and 68 percent in the demo compared to the same numbers last year (9.85 million and 1.9).

The Oscars have joined several other awards shows in stopping steep ratings falls from the 2020-21 season, though none have reached anywhere near the heights of pre-pandemic viewing. The Emmys and SAG Awards both had significant gains over their previous appearances, and the CMA Awards and American Music Awards (both on ABC) were either steady or slightly up last year.

Despite the year-to-year improvements, Sunday’s Oscars will be down as the second-most-watched since Nielsen began tracking total viewers in the mid-1970s. Prior to last year, the audience had never decreased below 20 million viewers.

When Will Smith arrived onstage and after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, the television channel received huge buzz on social media. That came about two-thirds of the way through the three-hour 40-minute ceremony, by which time the audience had been waiting for two and a half hours. (David from Samba TV shows the audience for the Oscars peaking about an hour earlier.)

See below for more ratings and statistics.

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