Was it something Jon Stewart said? With 32 million viewers, last night’s Academy Awards telecast appears to be the least-watched Oscars in history. Preliminary numbers indicate that Sunday night’s show was down 21 percent in viewers from the previous year, when The Departed won best picture, and down 42 percent during Oscar’s peak season, when Titanic won in the 1998 ceremony. The previous low for an Oscar telecast was in 2003 (33.05 million), the year Chicago was named best pic.
Even so, the Oscars still rank as the second most-watched entertainment program this season behind the debut of American Idol last month (33.4 million).