Maybe to an all-time low, early ratings show

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Ratings for Sunday's Oscar telecast dove 20% from 2017, hitting a record low of 26.5 million viewers, a statistic that did not escape the notice of President Trump.

"Most of the movies up for Oscars in multiple categories are films that average moviegoers have not seen", said Eric Deggans, NPR's television critic.

Considering the war of words that Trump had with some actors in the run-up to the 2017 Oscars, it is hard to accept Trump's claim that his recent observation is a joke.

Kimmel mocked Trump twice during his mologue and also took a jab at Vice President Mike Pence and recently departed staffer Hope Hicks.

Live TV broadcasts remain relatively attractive for advertisers because watchers can not skip commercials, with prices for Oscars ad spots climbing despite 2017 viewership of 32.9 million, which was the smallest in nine years.

Trump's tweets fit into a well-established pattern of him criticising Hollywood on Twitter.

Sunday night's low ratings can be blamed on myriad reasons, from the show's almost four-hour run time, to the fragmented TV landscape, to the nomination of smaller films like "Darkest Hour" and "Call Me By Your Name" for the biggest awards.

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Because we're in a position where the President slagging off the Academy Awards isn't even a surprise anymore, Trump finally had his say on this year's Oscars (two days later they happened.) on Tuesday (6 March).

Gesturing toward a life-sized statue of an Oscar - which is nude but does not have genitals and has its arms crossed - Kimmel noted, "Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood".

Viewership for the 90th annual Academy Awards was at an all-time low following Sunday's broadcast, and the president took notice.

"To all the dreamers out there, we stand with you", said presenter Kumail Nanjiani in a show of support for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children. Who, in your opinion, should have been awarded, yet wasn't? The 2018 victor for best picture, "The Shape of Water", has earned $57.4 million at the box office in the US and Canada, making it the highest-grossing honoree in the category since "Argo" in 2013.

Ratings for the Oscars have been better when the movies were bigger.

The genre-defying "Get Out", certainly the most timely of the films up for Best Picture, also scored four nominations. Actresses Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd and Annabella Sciorra introduced a short video which praised the trailblazers in Hollywood who have spoken out against sexual harassment and created diverse films produced by women and minority groups. "The last Oscar ceremony I watched was in 2016 because my favorite actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, was nominated to the Oscars for his role in "The Revenant", he said.

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