The host-less 2019 Academy Awards bounced back from last year’s all-time ratings low to average 29.6 million viewers, according to TheWrap.
“That was up 12 percent from last year,” TheWrap ratings guru Tony Maglio wrote. "Last year’s Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, ended up tallying 26.5 million total viewers, an all-time low."
The politically charged 2018 edition was hosted by Kimmel dropped 20 percent compared to the previous year and attracted 26.5 million viewers. It's the first time that the Oscars averaged fewer than 30 million people since at least 1974 when Nielsen started keeping track.
The Academy opted to go without a host this year after Kevin Hart stepped down amid controversy over past tweets and comedy bits that some felt were homophobic in nature. It was unclear how a host-less Oscars would work, but early indications are pointing in the right direction for the Academy.
Hollywood's biggest night opened with a performance by Queen and Adam Lambert, followed with a comedic monologue by Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph – who joked that they were not the hosts but simply making jokes that a host would make.
They wasted no time poking fun at the series of missteps and backtracks by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which included a new best "popular film" category was in, and then it was out, Hart was host and then he wasn't and some categories were removed from the live broadcast, and then they were back.
"We are not your hosts," Fey pointed out before Rudolph jumped in and said, "So just a quick update in case you're confused. There is no host tonight, there will be no popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall."
"Green Book" won the top honor for best picture and a passionate performance of “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper moved the audience and provided a memorable moment.
Best actress went to Olivia Colman for "The Favourite,” while Rami Malek who won best actor for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody." Best director went to Afonso Cuaron for "Roma" which also won best foreign language film and Spike Lee won for best adapted screenplay with "BlacKkKlansman."
Without a host, the film academy has emphasized its eclectic lineup of presenters. They included: Barbra Streisand, Congressman John Lewis, Serena Williams, Mike Myers, Chadwick Boseman, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Awkwafina and Samuel L. Jackson.
Fox News’ Jessica Sager contributed to this report.