2015 Oscars telecast tanks in ratings

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 26 February 2015

Sunday's Academy Awards telecast on ABC, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, garnered a collective ho-hum in the US, drawing its smallest audience in six years.

The show, which saw the indie film Birdman walk away with Best Picture, drew just 36.6 million average viewers, according to Nielsen — a 6% decline from last year.

That's bad news for ABC, which counts the Oscars as its most-watched event of the year. It's also in stark contrast to last year's outing, which was hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and brought in 43.7 million viewers, the biggest audience for the awards domestically since 2000.

ABC has the rights to broadcast the awards show through 2020.