On March 7, 2010, the 82nd Annual Academy Awards aired on ABC and locally in Memphis on WPTY (ABC). The Memphis DMA average household rating was 21.5 with a 29 share. Last year in 2009, WPTY averaged a 14.9 household rating with a 20.5 share. An increase of 44% year to year.
You don’t have to be a media psychic to attribute the increase in Memphis and Mid-South viewership to the success of “The Blind Side”. Many of you know I’ve been following this since before they started filming the movie. You can read my previous post here. At the Academy Awards, Sandra Bullock, portraying local Memphian Leigh Anne Tuohy, won the Oscar for the best performance by an actress in a leading role for The Blind Side. While it did not win Best Picture, the nomination was enough to keep the local viewers tuned in until the end. This Commercial Appeal story tells of other Mid-South ties to The Blind Side.
Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy walked the Red Carpet, attended the Academy Awards ceremony and were recognized by Sandra Bullock in her Oscar acceptance speech. Prior to the Academy Awards ceremony, Leigh Anne & Collins Tuohy sent Bullock a good luck gift according to this People story, “Leigh Anne Tuohy, the real-life woman whom Sandra portrayed in her Oscar-nominated role in The Blind Side, and her daughter Collins asked eco-friendly jewelry company Alex and Ani to create a special set of their Signature Expandable Bangles for the actress to say €œwe love you and good luck€ at the Oscars. The mother-and-daughter team had a €œgood luck€ charm, a guardian angel charm and even a Baltimore Ravens charm in honor of Michael Oher added to the set of bangles.”
Nationally, the 82nd Academy Awards telecast on ABC had the largest audience in 5 years, as reported by Media Life Magazine. “Sunday night’s telecast was the most-watched Oscars in five years, according to time zone-adjusted fast national ratings issued by Nielsen, drawing 41.3 million total viewers. That was up 5 million over last year and the best for any Oscar ceremony since 42.1 million watched the 2005 show. Last night’s Oscar ceremony averaged a 26.5 household rating and 40 share among Nielsen metered-market households. In 2009, the national household rating was 23.3 representing 36.3 million households.”