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78th Annual Oscar: Ratings Down 10 Percent from 2005

This happened because the most decorated movies were not box office blockbusters. Even King Kong failed to break records, but I attribute that to it's December start.

Oscars Ratings Drop 10 Percent From 2005
Associated Press - Mar 06, 08:22

ABC is in for a "Crash" landing in the Oscar ratings.

The Academy Awards were down 10 percent from last year's ceremony, based on preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings from the nation's 55 biggest markets. If the full national ratings follow suit later Monday, this year's ceremony will likely be the second least-watched Oscars telecast behind 2003, when "Chicago" won best picture.

The ceremony, where "Crash" won a surprise best picture trophy, drew a 27.1 rating and a 40 share. Each rating point is equivalent to 1.1 million homes, while the share indicates that 40 percent of the TVs in use last night were tuned to the awards.

Last year's metered markets had a 30.1 rating and 43 share, Nielsen said.

The ceremony's central lesson: Play a real person enmeshed in wrenching drama, win an Academy Award.

It worked last year for Jamie Foxx in "Ray" and this time around for Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line" and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the glory-hungry writer in "Capote."

Sunday's Oscars were anything but predictable, however, as the explosive race drama "Crash" denied "Brokeback Mountain" the best-picture Oscar despite the gay Western love story's front-runner status and its best-director award for Ang Lee.

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