Does It Matter If This Year's Oscars Were the Least-Watched Ever?

ABC's telecast of the 90th Oscars was watched by 26.5 million viewers on Sunday, the smallest TV audience on record for the ceremony. "So if I can get a story that feels worthy as a follow-up in this world, we'll do it ... and if not, then absolutely not".

Not that any of this year's winners were, in isolation, hair-tearers.

Prior to this year, the 2008 awards were the all-time low for an Oscars audience when 32 million tuned in to watch Jon Stewart host and "No Country for Old Men" pick up the Best Picture prize.

Del Toro's "The Shape of Water", a sumptuous, sensual fairytale that is a Technicolor ode to outsiders, was the evening's top victor with four Academy Awards. Nor do they include viewership from the post-11 p.m. final 48 minutes when the most prominent awards were handed out to winners that included Gary Oldman as best actor, for "Darkest Hour", and Frances McDormand, for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri".

The show was heavy on criticism of conservatives and conservative causes, targeting Donald Trump, Mike Pence and the NRA among others.

Guillermo del Toro, victor of the awards for best director for "The Shape of Water" and best picture for "The Shape of Water".

"I knew it was a movie at the end of the pitch, when we were all teary-eyed, and I thought, 'We've got a movie, ' he said". Director Jordan Peele became the first black director to win for Best Original Screenplay. Until this year, the awards' viewership never dropped below 32 million.

"Oscar is 90 years old tonight, which means he's probably at home tonight watching Fox News", he added.

There's only so much they can do, after all, and there is no one like Kimmel to remind everyone that it is still the movie industry.

The 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' host has no regrets about voicing his political views in the past, though he still plans to be "funny" too. Best Picture should go to the film that has the best performances, writing, directing and visuals.

Trump took a jibe at this by tweeting: "Lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY". The Best Picture victor is a witless "lovable monster" movie, with a villain so overdrawn that vaudeville would have given him the hook, a mute heroine out of the grossest Victorian melodrama, and a theme exploited with far greater panache by Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, and at least a dozen other pictures.

  • Salvatore Jensen