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Jimmy Kimmel Wins Late-Night Ratings With Oscar Debacles Explainer

Deadline logo Deadline 2/28/2017 Patrick Hipes
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Jimmy Kimmel pulled off a ratings victory the night after the Oscars, as viewers tuned in to ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! to hear his side of the story about Sunday’s awards ceremony debacles.

Kimmel drew a 2.6/7 in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, beating NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2.2/6) and CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (2.5/7) in Monday’s numbers, according to Nielsen. Kimmel also was tops in the demo, with a 0.8/4, compared with Fallon (0.7/4) and Colbert (0.6/3).

The late-night ratings war has become competitive this winter, with a Colbert surge earning him four consecutive weekly wins in total viewers. That metric had been dominated by Fallon, who continues to finish tops in the 18-49 age bracket.

Kimmel’s opening monologue was must-see TV for viewers who saw Sunday’s Oscars, when the wrong winner was announced onstage, and La La Land producers were midway through their acceptance speeches before organizers discovered that it was actually Moonlight that had won. Chaos and confusion ensued, and eventually accounting firm and envelope-keepers PricewaterhouseCoopers took blame for the fiasco.

But, as Kimmel explained on his late-night show, it was only one of several cataclysms to bedevil the broadcast.

Kimmel said last night that he was standing next to Matt Damon in the Oscar audience, ready to end the show with his foil of the night as planned. “And Matt says, ‘I think I heard the stage manager say they got the winner wrong.’ Which is unusual,” Kimmel said. “But you figure the host will go onstage and clear this up. And then I remember, ‘Oh, I’m the host.’ ”

Watch the monologue:


During rehearsal Sunday, two 40-foot-ish structures on the set collapsed, moments after he had walked off the stage, Kimmel revealed, adding, “I could have been the first person in history to both host and appear in the In Memoriam montage in the same show.”

Speaking of the In Memoriam montage, “That woman there, who passed away – Janet Patterson? That’s not Janet Patterson. That’s a picture of a another producer named Jan Chapman, who is very much alive,” Kimmel marveled.

“They put a picture of a live person in the In Memoriam, he added. “Technically, according to Academy rules, we now have to kill her.”

The Oscars In Memoriam flub: 

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