Throughout all of the chaos of the Oscars season this year, with producers seeking to make the show shorter and trying in vain to find a host and shorten the show, the implicit reason behind most of those movies was to end the Academy Awards’ multiyear slide in ratings. The 2018 show’s ratings had actually dropped by double digits from the year before.
Sunday night’s show, which did not have a host and ran for slightly over three hours, has managed to halt the slide.
The 91st Academy Awards notched a rating of 21.6/36, per Deadline, which represented a gain of 14.3 percent over 2018. This is based on early numbers, which do not include some markets. While the rating is still lower than most Oscar shows throughout history, it still represents a rare reversal after years of decline.
Rather than having a host lead the way, Sunday night’s Oscars put much of the onus on the presenters, although it did bring out Saturday Night Live veterans Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph to deliver something resembling a traditional monologue. The show began with a performance by the surviving members of Queen, along with singer Adam Lambert, and also had Bette Midler singing a song from Mary Poppins Returns, and Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga dueting on “Shallow,” the song from A Star is Born.
Green Book won the Best Picture trophy, but the major awards were spread out among several movies, with every one of the eight Best Picture nominees winning at least one award.
Rami Malek won Best Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody, which also won awards for editing, sound, and sound mixing. In addition to Best Picture, Green Book won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. Roma won for Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography, with director Alfonso Cuaron collecting all three trophies. And Black Panther had the first-ever three-Oscar haul for a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, winning awards for costume design, production design, and Best Original Score.
Despite its status as the early Oscars favorite, A Star is Born‘s only win was for Best Original Song, while Olivia Colman won The Favourite‘s one Oscar for Best Actress.
And Spike Lee finally won the first competitive Oscar of his career, winning Best Adapted Screenplay as co-writer of BlacKkKlansman. Lee collected the award from his longtime friend Samuel L. Jackson and then gave a politically righteous speech.