Chris Rock doesn't lift TV ratings for Oscars
By STEPHEN BATTAGLIO | Los Angeles Times | Published: March 1, 2016
Anticipation of Chris Rock's no-holds-barred commentary at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony did not boost the overnight ratings for Sunday's telecast on ABC.
Based on Nielsen's overnight data from 56 large U.S. TV markets, the telecast averaged a 23.4 rating and a 36 percent share of the homes using television from 8:30 p.m. to 11:51 p.m. EST, when the last commercial break aired.
That's down 6 percent when compared with the 24.9 rating from the overnight data for 2015.
Among the local markets measured, the show's highest rating was in New York, 33.2. That was higher than the rating in Los Angeles, where the telecast averaged a 29.5, down from 33.5 in 2015.
Last year, the ceremony hosted by Neil Patrick Harris averaged 37.3 million viewers, the smallest audience in six years.
Curiosity over how Rock would handle the controversy over the lack of racial diversity among this year's nominees appeared to have little effect when it came to bringing more viewers to the Oscars.
Rock has a track record as a popular Oscars host. The 42.1 million who watched him host in 2005 has only been topped once since, when 43.7 million tuned in for Ellen DeGeneres's turn as host in 2014.
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