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How Oscar ratings have changed since Chris Rock last hosted

When Chris Rock was named host for the 88th Academy Awards in February, it prompted speculation about whether the comedian could revive the show’s ratings, which tumbled last year with Neil Patrick Harris at the helm. Typically, though, it’s not the host that draws the crowds to an Oscar telecast; it’s the popularity of the film nominees. The ceremony’s biggest audience ever was in 1998, when 55 million tuned in to the broadcast, which Billy Crystal hosted and where “Titanic” won for best picture.

A look at Oscar audiences in the last decade:

Year - Viewers - Best Picture winner | Host

2015 - 37.3 million - "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" | Neil Patrick Harris


2014 - 43.7 million - "12 Years a Slave" | Ellen DeGeneres


2013 - 40.3 million - "Argo" | Seth MacFarlane


2012 - 39.3 million - "The Artist" | Billy Crystal


2011 - 37.9 million - "The King's Speech" | James Franco/Anne Hathaway


2010 - 41.7 million - "The Hurt Locker" | Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin


2009 - 36.3 million - "Slumdog Millionaire" | Hugh Jackman


2008 - 32 million - "No Country for Old Men" | Jon Stewart


2007 - 40.1 million - "The Departed" | Ellen DeGeneres


2006 - 38.9 million - "Crash" | Jon Stewart


2005 - 42.1 million - "Million Dollar Baby" | Chris Rock

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