THR noted that total was “well below the 29.56 million and 7.7 for last year's awards,” and down 20 percent in year-to-year viewers. The Oscars managed a 5.3 rating in the key demographic of adults age 18-49, down 31 percent from last year’s 7.7 demo rating.
The lengthy, host-less broadcast fell almost 2 million viewers short of the previous all-time low, when the Oscars averaged 26.54 million viewers back in 2018.
“If you need to find some sort of silver lining, the 92nd Academy Awards were still television’s most-watched entertainment special since the 91st Oscars. Of course, that was also totally expected,” TheWrap ratings guru Tony Maglio wrote.
The Oscars featured several winners injecting politics into the Academy Awards, starting with the telecast's first famous victor, Brad Pitt, who took a shot at Republican senators who voted against calling witnesses at President Trump’s impeachment trial.
“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” Pitt said. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin [Tarantino] does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”
Pitt was not the only actor to politicize his comments as Joaquin Phoenix used his lengthy, emotional best actor acceptance speech to discuss, among other things, the state of humanity, and the plight of cows.
"We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow," Phoenix said. "And when she gives birth, we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable and then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal."
Even socialist revolutionary Karl Marx was mentioned in a speech by Julia Reichert, the co-director of the Barack and Michelle Obama-produced best feature-length documentary winner "American Factory."
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.