Oscar ratings drop like a rock

2005-03-02 09:10
<b>Oscar Host Chris Rock performs his monologue to open the 77th Academy Awards telecast in Los Angeles. (Mark J Terrill, AP)</b>

Oscar Host Chris Rock performs his monologue to open the 77th Academy Awards telecast in Los Angeles. (Mark J Terrill, AP)

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Los Angeles - The American audience for Sunday night's Oscar show dropped five percent from 2004, according to Nielsen ratings released on Tuesday.

The figures showed that about 41.5 million viewers watched the telecast of the movie awards ceremony hosted by comedian Chris Rock. That number represented a two million drop from the previous year's telecast with its big winner, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The slump in viewers was widely predicted because there were no major blockbusters among this year's leading Oscar contenders.

The US television audience also seems to have lost its appetite for glitzy awards shows: The Golden Globes, the Grammys, and the Emmys are all showing sharp declines in viewers.

However, the Oscar producers tried to liven up this year's telecast by drafting Rock, who has a reputation for peppering his act with controversial comments and four-letter words, as the master of ceremonies.

They also tried some new concepts such as handing out lesser awards in the audience or having all the nominees for some awards appear on stage together. - Sapa-dpa

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