Kimmel presides over all-time low ratings (Credit: Getty Images)
Perhaps it needed another Best Picture calamity, because reports suggest that the Oscars telecast on Sunday night hit an all-time low in terms of ratings.
According to data from Nielsen, via the Associated Press, the show was around 20% down on last year’s ratings, which itself was the lowest rated Oscars show in nine years.
26.5 million tuned in for the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted show, compared to 33 million the previous year, during which Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway bungled the announcement of the winner of Best Picture.
2008’s show, which was hosted by Jon Stewart, and in which No Country For Old Men won Best Picture, previously had the dubious honour of the least-watched ceremony.
Meanwhile, the biggest Oscar audience of the 21st century so far was 43.7 million in 2014, the year that Ellen DeGeneres hosted.
There is some disparity within the numbers, however.
The Shape of Water, the unconventional love story directed by Guillermo Del Toro, is the highest-grossing Best Picture winner in five years.
Conservative media in the US has seized upon the low ratings, citing a backlash against Hollywood traditionally liberal world view, and stars sniping at Donald Trump.
On Fox News, Tomi Lahren called the Oscars ‘sad’ and accused it of being consumed with ‘self-obsession and blatant hypocrisy’.
“Gauging by the low ratings, it would appear that many of you had better things to do than watch. And I don’t blame you,” she said.
“After all, why waste brain cells watching Jimmy Kimmel and friends celebrate themselves and their liberalism? No, thanks.”