Bradley Cooper, right, congratulates Lady Gaga in the audience after she is announced winner for best original song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Nielsen: 29.6 million viewers for Oscars, up from 2018

The biggest Oscars audience ever recorded came in 1998.

The Oscars ended its four-year streak of dwindling viewership, reaching 29.6 million on Sunday to beat last year’s audience by 12 per cent, but it still represents the second-smallest audience in the award show’s history.

The 2018 show had reached only 26.5 million viewers, a figure that set off alarm bells at ABC and the motion picture academy.

READ MORE: ‘Green Book’ wins best picture at Academy Awards

This year’s show featured movies with more box office juice than in the recent past. It provided a water-cooler controversy over the merits of best picture winner “Green Book,” and some memorable musical performances by Queen and the duo of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

It also went without a host after Kevin Hart backed off, although the trio of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph offered what was essentially an opening monologue.

The Oscars is generally the most-watched entertainment program of the year, often only second to the Super Bowl. Yet its viewership had declined steadily since hitting 43.7 million in 2014, the Nielsen company said.

Despite this year’s rebound, it still represents only the second time since Nielsen has been measuring that viewership slipped under 30 million people.

The biggest Oscars audience ever recorded came in 1998, when 55.2 million people turned out to see “Titanic” named best picture.

ABC also said Monday that its preview of the drama “Whiskey Cavalier” was seen by 4.2 million people after the Oscars ended.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Strathcona Regional District looking at pay hikes for board members

The Strathcona Regional District board is planning on a pay raise. At… Continue reading

City still fighting for long-term plan for Snowden

Another letter from the province without ‘tangible response’ spurs mayor to request in-person meeting

Willow Point Summer Market back for third go-round

Now accepting applications for ‘anything and everything,’ but specifically in need of entertainers

Carihi fly fishers earn invite to National Championship

10 students will travel to Maple Ridge next month, but they need your help to get there

Storm sweeps Saanich in semifinals

Despite starting well after the other semi-final series, the Storm now has to wait….

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read