October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

James Franco, Anne Hathaway can’t lure key demo as Oscar ratings tumble

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: All of the criticism leveled at Academy Awards hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco – and believe me, they were roasted by the media for their awkward turn on Sunday night – wouldn’t matter a lick if the duo was able to deliver on the TV ratings and pull in the coveted 18 to 34 demographic.

But they couldn’t.

While the overall television ratings for this year’s Academy Awards telecast was down nearly 10% from the previous year – to an estimated 37.6 million viewers, down from last year’s figure of 41.7 million viewers – the demographic Hathaway and Franco were hired to lure dropped 5% from the previous year, according to GoldDerby.

Not a significant drop, but a drop. And these two were hired to boost that number. So the experiment failed, and it’s back to the drawing board for Oscar’s producers, who must come up with a way to freshen up their ancient program.

News wasn’t all dreadful. Oscar ratings in Canada were “fairly steady,” THR reports, even though the ceremony was panned by local Canadian critic Ben Mulroney as “boring.” (He wasn’t alone in that assessment by a long shot.)

“I’ve just never seen a more boring show. I just haven’t,” Mulroney told a CTV news anchor.

Still, preliminary data indicated that 6.1 million Canadians tuned in to broadcaster CTV’s feed of the ABC telecast, compared to a final count of 6.2 million in 2010. U.S. broadcasters would kill for that type of hold. But if they keep making questionable decisions behind the scenes at the Oscars, the audience sitting in front of their television sets will continue to dwindle.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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