Oscars 2023 ratings win! Academy Awards increases viewership by 2 MILLION – as audiences tune in a year after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock

Ratings for the 2023 Academy Awards hit a three-year high-water mark on Sunday, as viewership grew by more than 2 million people following Will Smith’s infamous slap of Chris Rock last year.

The show – which went back to Jimmy Kimmel as a host after the trio of Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall hosted the 2022 show – had its highest ratings since 2020, which came about a month before the beginning of the pandemic.

The show, which aired on ABC, gained in viewership for the second year in a row with an estimated 18.7 million viewers and a 4.0 rating in the demographic of adults 18-49, Nielsen reported, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  

The number marked a 12.5 percent spike in overall viewers and five percent in the category of adults 18-49, as last year’s show had 16.62 million viewers and a 3.76 rating in the 18-49 category.

The broadcast, which ran for more than three-and-a-half hours, saw a rise in viewership amid the creation of an event crisis team and speculation on how Kimmel would manage the show amid unforeseen acts.

The latest: Ratings for the 2023 Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel Sunday, hit a three-year highwater mark

Viewership grew by more than 2 million people following Will Smith's infamous slap of Chris Rock last year

The latest: Ratings for the 2023 Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel Sunday, hit a three-year high-water mark, as viewership grew by more than 2 million people following Will Smith’s infamous slap of Chris Rock last year

Kimmel addressed the Smith-Rock exchange in his opening monologue Sunday, saying, ‘We want you to have fun. We want you to feel safe – and most importantly, we want me to feel safe.

‘So we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and be permitted to give a 19-minute long speech.’

He continued, ‘Seriously, the Academy has a crisis team in place. If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year – nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.’

The broadcast for the 92nd Academy Awards on February 9, 2020 – which saw Renée Zellweger and Joaquin Phoenix claim the top acting prizes, and Parasite win Best Picture – garnered 23.64 million viewers.

Sunday’s Oscars, according to the outlet, made for the most-watched entertainment show in primetime this year, surpassing the Next Level Chef premiere after the Super Bowl on Fox that had 15.66 million people watching.

Ratings for most award shows have sagged in recent years, amid pandemic-related restrictions and protocols, with the most recent Emmys and Golden Globes each declining in viewers. Last month’s Grammys did see a rise in ratings.

Among highlights of Sunday’s Oscars included a banner showing for the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once, including Best Picture and acting honors for Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan. Another big moment came with the crescendo of Brendan Fraser’s career resurgence, as he won Best Actor honors for The Whale.

Neither Smith or Rock attended Sunday’s proceedings, as Smith was issued a 10-year ban from attending the event from the Academy in the wake of the slap. Rock said last year that he passed on hosting this year’s ceremony, and recently broke his silence on Smith and the exchange in his new Netflix special Selective Outrage. 

The show - which went back to Jimmy Kimmel as a host after the trio of Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall hosted the 2022 show - had its highest ratings since 2020, which came about a month before the beginning of the pandemic

The show – which went back to Jimmy Kimmel as a host after the trio of Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall hosted the 2022 show – had its highest ratings since 2020, which came about a month before the beginning of the pandemic

Neither Smith or Rock attended Sunday's proceedings, as Smith was issued a 10-year ban from attending the event from the Academy in the wake of the incident last year

Neither Smith or Rock attended Sunday’s proceedings, as Smith was issued a 10-year ban from attending the event from the Academy in the wake of the incident last year 

Sunday's event saw Hollywood veterans and fan favorites Michelle Yeoh and Brendan Fraser claim the top acting honors

Sunday’s event saw Hollywood veterans and fan favorites Michelle Yeoh and Brendan Fraser claim the top acting honors 



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