Last year, faced with sagging ratings, the Academy Awards pulled out all the stops, pumping up the number of Best Picture nominees to ten in order to get fans of more films involved and tapping supposedly hip and now stars Anne Hathaway and James Franco to host.
The result? A monumental flop.
So this year, the Academy went back to basics — way back, with America's futzy uncle, Billy Crystal, returning to host a show heavy on nostalgia (see: "The Artist" and "Hugo") and light on, well, everything else. And the results this time around? According to The Los Angeles Times, ratings actually went up. Who'da thunk it?
Of course, the ratings increase wasn't exactly huge — early numbers indicate viewership was up only 4%, with a 25.5 rating compared to a 24.5 for last year — and since last year's numbers were so dismal to begin with, an increase was almost to be expected.
Still, when it comes to the Oscars, any ratings increase is cause for celebration, especially considering Crystal and company had little time to put together a show after being brought on board late in the game to patch over the holes caused when the show crashed into the human iceberg known as Brett Ratner. And the old timey feel of the show helped in at least one market: With a 32.5 rating, West Palm Beach posted the third highest number in the country.
Looks like young and fresh were overrated after all.