Academy Awards television audience plummets to 9.85 million

The Nielsen company says its preliminary estimate shows the Oscars audience on ABC dipped to slightly under 10 million viewers

The Nielsen company's preliminary estimate released Monday shows that the audience to watch “Nomadland” win best picture was 58% below last year's tally of 23.6 million, the prior low-water mark.

Producers tried a hostless event Sunday night with a small audience of nominees and guests who weren't wearing masks. But in a year where movie theaters were mostly closed due to the pandemic, people were either unfamiliar with or unexcited about movies they primarily streamed at home.