Sunday's Oscar nomination show happened and the awards were given. It's ratings are the real story however. Just over 26 million watched, and there are many reasons why this is a huge low for ABC. Ultimately it comes down to all the stuff that has happened the last few years that has built up into this steep decline.
First is politics. Personally, I think Hollywood is still not over Donald Trump being president. It's been over a fucking year since he was elected. When does it stop? When is it time to let it go and get over it? Add in diversity (which could be a little better), all this MeToo crap and all this sexual harassment stuff, something has to give. At some point, false accusations are going to get tiring, ruining it for the few that actually were harassed. Also, if some people did better films, surely they would be nominated for their roles. The quality of a movie is not just judged by the overall film, but the stars that actually commit to it, cinematography, and a few other elements.
Obviously, length of time as news websites have talked about as well as the Internet. It's not a surprise that ratings take hits on prime time networks due to cable (which even that struggles as well) and people going in on the Internet. Websites are cashing in on people watching via whatever they have on them like a tablet. For something like the Oscars, not everybody wants to stay up until 11 or midnight to see every award given. That's a given in today's world.
The one that piques my interest a little bit is what gets nominated. At this point, it seems more like an invitation for independent or artsy stuff that either is a surprise hit or barely does well but gets nominated for awards and might win one. Think about it. Do people really care about Slumdog Millionaire now these days? No. Those kind of films get a few years exposure and then die off without getting reruns. The same will apply to stuff like The Big Sick and Mudbound. People are more interested in comic book films, live action remakes and sequels. Last year was no different. That doesn't mean they are giving up on original films because there are still some that were a big deal like Split and Baby Driver. Right now, Black Panther is doing very well and because of Logan getting some nods, maybe pressure might be put on Academy people to put in the mix for certain categories. Artsy and independent films are still an important factor, but you can't just rely on those and expect viewers to tune in just to see those win instead of others.
There's probably other factors into this, but something will change. It will come down to how people anticipate 2019's Oscars. If it's anything like the last few years, it could dip below 25 million viewers if there is no change to how ABC does things. The same can be said for the Hollywood celebrities. I don't know if it will come down to things crumbling before them or some huge enforced rules. Whatever happens will dictate the future of this awards ceremony.