TV Ratings: 2011 Oscars drop slightly in young viewers, total audience
No ratings disaster, but Hathaway and Franco didn't bring the kiddies with them
Twentysomething actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway were brought in to host the 2011 Oscars in the hopes of bringing in a younger demographic. Instead, their roundly-panned stint was down about 12 percent in the 18-49 demographic from last year's show, co-hosted by sixtysomething Steve Martin and fiftysomething Alec Baldwin.
According to the Nielsen Fast National ratings, Sunday night's Oscar telecast averaged an 11.7 rating among adults 18-49, down from 13.3 for last year's show. (ABC took pains to note that the numbers were flat among both adults 18-34 and women 18-34.) And in terms of viewers of any age, the show averaged 37.6 million viewers, down from last year's 41 million - a number that had as much to do with the popularity of "Avatar" as the identity of the hosts - but still the second-largest Oscar audience overall since 2007.
Given the scathing reviews, those aren't bad numbers - though of course everyone tuned in initially before they realized how the show would go - but the stated goal for why they brought in young hosts was not met.
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