36 million US viewers watched Oscars telecast

February 24th, 2009 - 1:14 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Oscars 2009Over 36 million US viewers followed Oscars song-and-dance on television Sunday night, lifting the glitzy film awards show from record low ratings in 2008, according to national ratings figures.

The three and one-half hour broadcast on ABC saw ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ triumph with eight Oscars in a show given a new twist by Australian host Hugh Jackman. The telecast drew 36.3 million US viewers, up about 13 percent from the record low audience of 32 million in 2008, according to audience tracker Nielsen Media Research.

In the year of 2006, Oscars was followed by 39 million Americans which hit a record of 55 million in the year of 1998 when ‘Titanic’ sailed off with 11 Academy Awards. The annual show also attracts millions of viewers around the world.

Jackman, who plays Wolverine in the X-Men movies, starred in the 2008 film ‘Australia’ and is an award winning musical theater performer, was brought in to give the 81st Oscar show a new look.

The traditional, joke-filled opening monologue was cut, and Jackman performed two song-and-dance routines - one with actress Anne Hathaway and a second alongside singer Beyonce and popular young stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.

‘Vibrant Bollywood-style performances of Oscar-nominated songs from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ put a lively spin , when noticed the main acting awards go to British actress Kate Winslet for ‘The Reader’ and American Sean Penn for ‘Milk.’ Heath Ledger, a star of 2008’s No. 1 box office hit ‘The Dark Knight’ was awarded a rare posthumous Oscar as best supporting actor and his family from Australia gave emotional acceptance speeches from the Kodak Theater podium.

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