Oscar ratings plunge to a record low

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Jimmy Kimmel, left, congratulates Guillermo del Toro in the audience after winning the award for best picture for

Jimmy Kimmel, left, congratulates Guillermo del Toro in the audience after winning the award for best picture for "The Shape of Water" at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Viewership for the Academy Awards plunged 20 percent from last year to a record-low 26.5 million, the first time on record the Oscars reached fewer than 30 million people.

The Oscars are often the most-watched TV show after the Super Bowl. Not this time: the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics last month was seen by 27.8 million.

Television viewership in general is declining, but Oscar ratings are often tied to the popularity of the movies that are celebrating, and this doesn't say much for "The Shape of Water," which won best picture on Sunday night.

The previous low-water mark for the Oscars came in 2008, when "No Country For Old Men" won best picture. Last year's show, also hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, reached 33 million viewers.

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