February 26, 2015

AUDIENCE MAP: Awards Shows

The AUDIENCE MAP series continues with a look at the detailed demographics for major televised awards shows over the past year.  As a reminder, the audience shares for 30 distinct gender-age groups are displayed for each program below.  Programs in the chart are ranked by overall audience size, from the Oscars (or Academy Awards if you prefer the old-school title) to the fledgling and failing Hollywood Film Awards.

The Oscars on ABC, even in a relatively down year like 2015, is still the “Super Bowl for women”, boasting 30+ shares with all female segments between the ages of 15 and 54.  Women over 55 are in the 40+ share range.  Even men are in the still sizable 20-25 share range in the 12+ age groups.  A lot to like in those numbers.  If you are looking for a broad show that tilts younger, however, check out the Grammys on CBS: well over 30 shares with females 15-24 and around 25 shares with just about every other female group.  Men are generally in the 20 share range with most adult groups, with a pocket of strength with men 18-24 in the 25 share range.  After the Oscars and Grammys, a solid second tier emerges containing the Golden Globe Awards on NBC, the CMA (Country Music Awards) on ABC and Emmy Awards (most recently on NBC, although the show rotates between networks).  Each is around a 15 audience share overall, although the three have distinct profiles.  The Golden Globes is kind of the Grammys-lite: a big spike with women 18-20 (29 share) but mostly a solid 19 or so share with most female groups and 12-14 shares with male groups.  The CMAs are actually very similar to the Globes in most female and males adults groups except the CMAs do slightly better with girls and female teens.  The Emmy Awards, like network television itself, skews older, with its biggest viewing found with women over 55.  And just to calibrate the scale, we have added the Tony Awards, the longest running narrowcast in television history, as well as the Hollywood Film Awards from last November, an experiment that is not destined to become a franchise in the future.

Audience Map AWARDS SHOWS 2014-15 Across

As we mentioned 2015 was a relatively low year for the Oscars so we compared the Neil Patrick Harris-hosted telecast to 2014’s Oscars hosted by Ellen DeGeneres (the highest rated in the last five years and one of the highest in the last decade).  Overall, 2015 was down -3.6 share points from 2014.  Which demographic groups changed the most?  Men 18-20 were the biggest defectors: down over 10 share points from last year, while women 25-29 and boys 12-14 bucked the trend and were up a little this year (each up about 3 share points).  But those three groups were really the outliers on the extremes: generally, most groups over 21 (both female and male) were down a fairly uniform 4 to 5 share points versus last year, with kids and teens less uniform but certainly closer to last year.  Of course, the ratings for any Oscars is not entirely a function of the host.  Other factors include the number of close races and the popularity of the Best Picture nominees, especially if a high-grossing movie has a shot at winning the big prize (Titanic, Avatar and Lord of the Rings years, for example).  But the host does carry much of the burden of the Oscar ratings, both publicly and privately.  With all those negative numbers at the bottom of the chart below, ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will be selecting the 2016 host extremely carefully.

Audience Map OSCARS 2015 vs 2014 Within

Coming next week: the AUDIENCE MAP for original cable dramas on AMC, FX, HBO, SHOWTIME, TNT and USA, among others.

Also, check out other AUDIENCE MAP posts.


About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.