Telecast widely panned
Television audiences for Sunday's Oscar ceremony fell about seven percent compared to a year ago, according to early ratings data on Monday from major U.S. cities, acccording to Reuters.
Television critics widely panned the Oscar telecast, which was hosted for the first time by actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco in what was seen as a bid by organizers to attract younger viewers.
But the 3-/2 hour show, which awarded royal movie "The King's Speech" best film honors and three other Oscars, held up well in the 18-49 demographic most coveted by advertisers, according to Nielsen figures.
The number of total U.S. viewers will be released later on Monday by Nielsen. But Sunday's ceremony broadcast on ABC was already the most-watched TV show of the night, with more than double the audience of other TV networks combined.
Last year, the Oscars were watched by 41.7 million viewers in the United States -- the largest TV audience for the ceremony in five years.
Reviews of Sunday's efforts by Hathaway -- at 28 the youngest host in Oscar history, and Franco, 32, the Oscar-nominated star of "127 Hours" -- were harsh.
The Hollywood Reporter said the ceremony "could go down as one of the worst Oscar telecasts in history."
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