The ratings for Sunday’s Academy Awards reportedly increased by 12 percent compared to last year, marking a turnaround for the annual show. According to CNN, the broadcast drew in an average of 29.6 million viewers, making it one of the “most watched broadcasts of the year.” Factors that may have contributed to higher ratings include a shorter-than-usual running time of 3 hours and 20 minutes, memorable musical performances by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and the lack of a show host. Comedian Kevin Hart was slated to host, but he backed out after his homophobic tweets resurfaced. But rather than hurting the show, critics reportedly thought the absence of a host helped the show’s pacing. The prominence of popular movies in the awards show—like Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody—reportedly also helped draw audiences.
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