Oscars Boost ABC to Biggest Weekly Ratings Win in 17 Years

Last time Disney broadcaster’s margin of victory was this large, it still had the Super Bowl

The Oscars may have dipped (again) year over year, but the special led ABC to its largest weekly victory in 17 years. The last time the network was so dominant was January 2000, when ABC still had the Super Bowl.

ABC won this Monday-to-Sunday Oscar week by 140 percent (with a 2.4 versus runner-up CBS’ and NBC’s 1.0 average) in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. That’s up from 108 percent last year.

The Disney-owned broadcaster also topped second place CBS for the most overall eyeballs by 31 percent, with 8.9 million versus 6.8 million. Ranking No. 1 in the key demo on six of seven nights, this was ABC’s second straight win and third in five weeks.

Of course, it wasn’t all the 89th Academy Awards. Last Monday, “The Bachelor” delivered new season highs with its annual hometown dates episode, aiding ABC to a 46 percent victory for that particular primetime. A few days later, Wednesday comedies “Modern Family,” “The Goldbergs, “Black-ish” and “Speechless” contributed to a demo “W.” Yes, that means Tuesday did not belong to ABC. That night was split by NBC and CBS, as per usual.

On Thursday, “Grey’s Anatomy” did its thing, and the “How to Get Away With Murder” season finale pitched in for another first place demo finish. The next night, “Shark Tank” was the No. 1 show, “Last Man Standing” was the top scripted series, and “20/20” was the biggest of the news magazine programs.

And there you have it, the anatomy of a week for (almost) the millennium. Now, imagine if the Oscars had performed particularly well?