Viewership for the Academy Awards plunged 20% from last year to a record-low 26.5 million, the first time on record the Oscars reached fewer than 30 million people, the AP reports. The Oscars are often the most-watched TV show after the Super Bowl. Not this time: the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics last month was seen by 27.8 million. Television viewership in general is declining, but Oscar ratings are often tied to the popularity of the movies that are celebrating, and this doesn't say much for The Shape of Water, which won best picture on Sunday night.
The previous low-water mark for the Oscars came in 2008, when No Country For Old Men won best picture. Last year's show, also hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, reached 33 million viewers. (Read more Oscars stories.)