Preliminary Ratings Show Oscars Up Over Last Year

The Associated Press

NEW YORK – Early indications are that an Academy Awards telecast where The Hurt Locker topped the popular Avatar for best picture was popular with viewers.

The Nielsen Co.’s overnight measurement of the nation’s 56 biggest markets gave ABC’s telecast a 26.5 rating and 40 audience share. That’s a 14 percent increase over the same rating for last year’s telecast, when Slumdog Millionaire was named best picture.

Nielsen is expected to give an estimate of the audience size later Monday. Last year’s telecast was seen by 36.3 million people. Each rating point represents 1,149,000 households, and the share means that 40 percent of the televisions being used at the time were tuned into the Oscars. The Oscars had a 29.4 rating in the New York market, Nielsen said. That was 11 percent above the average for other big cities and No. 13 among those cities.