Neil Patrick Harris-Hosted Oscars Hits Lowest Ratings Since 2009

The 2005 Oscars ceremony achieves the lowest ratings in six years and the viewership is down 16 percent from last year.

AceShowbiz - The 87th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night, February 22 gets lukewarm response from viewers. Airing on ABC and hosted by %cNeil Patrick Harris%, the Oscars fall down 16|percent| in ratings from last year and reaches the lowest mark in six years.

The weekend ceremony was watched by 36.6 million viewers, while last year it drew 43.7 million fans with %cEllen DeGeneres% as an emcee. She crashed Twitter and broke a record for the most-retweeted photo with her star-studded selfie that included %cMeryl Streep%, %cJennifer Lawrence%, %cBradley Cooper%, %cAngelina Jolie%, and %cBrad Pitt%.

This year's event also achieved the worst ratings since the 2009 event which attracted 36.3 million viewers with %cHugh Jackman% as a host.

U.S. journalist Mark Harris, however, came to the comedian's defense. Although the viewership number dipped, he suggested that the figures were "basically stable." He tweeted, "With one exception, the Oscar audience has ranged from 36-46 million for 30 years."

Neil Patrick Harris who won four Emmys for hosting Tony awards stripped down to his undies last Sunday in a sketch that poked fun at "Birdman" and "Whiplash". Some of his jokes during the Oscars, however, fell flat. He especially took the heat for making a joke about black "Annie" remake.

The "How I Met Your Mother" actor seems to be aware of the criticism as he posted a cryptic message on Twitter. "My iphone shattered the morning of the Oscars. I probably should have read more into that. #harbinger," he wrote.

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