The 86th Annual Academy Awards set a major ratings record: Sunday’s telecast was the most-watched entertainment telecast in 10 years.
The 3.5-hour program hosted by Ellen DeGeneres delivered a whopping 43 million viewers and a 12.9 rating among adults 18-49. That’s the biggest non-sports audience since NBC’s 2004 Friends finale. It also represents the third year in a row for the ratings to rise, up 6 percent from 2013. The Oscars out-delivered January’s Golden Globes by 22.1 million viewers and the Grammy Awards by 14.5 million viewers.
According to Nielsen’s Social Guide, there were 11.2 million tweets about the event, with overall Oscar social media activity outpacing last year by 75 percent. ABC’s Oscar’s Red Carpet Live pre-show was also up, with the final half-hour delivering 27.6 million viewers.
The ratings boost also carried over to late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s post-awards show. Rising for the third year in a row, the 9th annual Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars was up 22 percent to 7 million viewers.
From EW’s review of the Oscars: “Despite a terrifically loose Ellen DeGeneres, the first half of the Oscars was the type of slog that makes you wonder if your friends who don’t watch TV are onto something … Amy Adams spoke for all of us suffering quietly at home when she got caught checking her phone during Harrison Ford’s snoozy line reading of some Best Picture nominees.”
Related: Here’s our complete winners list.