The audience for this year's Oscars plummeted by more than half to a new record low average of 9.85 million domestic viewers, broadcaster ABC said Monday.
The whopping 58.3 per cent tumble from last year's already record-low 23.6 million had been widely expected for Hollywood's biggest night, after other award shows held during the pandemic also suffered precipitous declines.
The ratings drop also continues an overall multi-year downward trend for the Academy Awards, which were above 43 million as recently as 2014.
The Oscars typically end with best picture, and the lack of an acceptance speech at the show's grand finale was criticized by many viewers as anti-climactic.
"I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman who was taken from us far too early," he added, referring to the late "Black Panther" star who had been expected to win best actor for his final role in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."
Reviews were mixed, with several critics complaining about the show's lack of humor and musical performances.
But Deadline called the "relatively fast-paced and deeply personal ceremony" a "true Hollywood reinvigoration."