The Academy Awards aired on ABC Sunday night, and as expected was a large boost to ABC’s usual Sunday evening ratings.  Nielsen Ratings were up 4% versus previous years at the start of the show. Historically, the target demographic for The Oscars are people between the ages of 85 – 150 years old, which is why Billy Crystal has hosted the Oscars so many times. Those viewers often turn off the TV between 9 and 9:30pm, about 3 hours past their normal bedtime, to which the Nielson Ratings predictably slip in the later hours of the show. However this year, ratings stayed consistent through the entire show, showing very little drop off from the start to the finish of the show. The Academy initially predicted that they had finally reached a younger demographic including stars like Zack Galifianakis and Will Ferrell as presenters, however it was later discovered that 43% of the Oscars viewers died during the program, having never turned off their TV sets.

Surprisingly, very few of the deaths were suicides caused by Billy Crystal’s opening monologue as some pundits have predicted today, although many are still attributing the monologue to the seemingly overnight rise in Atheism worldwide. In fact, the leading theory on the deaths is that the elderly deceased laughed themselves to death at Billy Crystal’s jokes. Ironically, younger viewers who often stay up late watching television reported Billy Crystal’s jokes caused them to fall asleep, resulting in younger viewers not changing the channel, which also could have attributed to the ratings boost.  It is yet to be determined whether or not Billy Crystal will be charged for murder, or given a Presidential Pardon due to potentially solving the social security budget problem.