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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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