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Oscar ratings slip 7% as critics scorn hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco

February 28, 2011 |  9:20 am

Francohathaway
Many critics dissed the hosting combo of James Franco and Anne Hathaway, but considering that the ceremony lacked a huge crowd-pleasing nominee such as last year's "Avatar," Sunday's 83rd Academy Awards telecast on ABC held up pretty well in the ratings.

The three-hour-plus show scored a 24.6 household rating in the top 56 TV markets, according to early results from the Nielsen Co. That was down 7% compared with last year's broadcast.

Red-carpet But the ceremony, which awarded the best picture prize to "The King's Speech," slipped just 2% among viewers ages 18 to 49. That may have been thanks to Hathaway and Franco, the youngest cohosts in Oscar history and an effort by the academy, as Hathaway alluded to in an early joke, to be "appealing" to a youthful demographic.

But the critics were mostly less than kind. The Hollywood Reporter said the awards show "could go down as one of the worst Oscar telecasts in history." Los Angeles Times critic Mary McNamara said the pair "played it safe" but nevertheless delivered what was expected of them.

More detailed ratings, including a total-viewer count, will be released later Monday.

What did you think of the show?

-- Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Related:

Television review: Anne Hathaway and James Franco play it safe

Oscars ceremony was one of the shortest in recent times

The British are coming? Decoding the 'King's Speech' win

Big Picture: The triumph of Hollywood conservative values

Photo: James Franco and Anne Hathaway during Sunday's Oscar telecast. Credit: Michael Yada / European Pressphoto Agency

 

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