Jackman Wins Viewers, Splits Critics
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 3:02 PM CST

(Newser) – Hugh Jackman’s turn hosting the Oscars reversed a dip in the award show’s sagging ratings, E! Online reports—even if some critics didn’t find much substance. Early Nielsen numbers had 33.6 million viewers for last night’s telecast, up 6% from last year’s Jon Stewart-hosted show—which had the worst numbers on record. “Jackman did his best,” David Hinckley wrote in the New York Daily News. “His mission just wasn’t accomplishable.”

Mary McNamara, in the Los Angeles Times, was harsher: “A huge weight has been lifted from David Letterman’s shoulders. As Sunday night’s Academy Awards began, Hugh Jackman’s opening number (pardon me, but did he sing the words ‘pubic hair’? At the Oscars?) has surely obliterated all memory of the Uma-Oprah thing.” Celeb blogger Perez Hilton, however, disagrees: “How great was Hugh Jackman at the Oscars????” he asks.