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Oscars ceremony watched by lowest audience in six years
The US TV broadcast of this year's Oscars ceremony on Sunday scored the event's 1.___________ ratings in six years, averaging 36.6 million.
They were 2.__________ by 16% on last year's ratings, according to Nielsen figures published by Variety.
First-time host Neil Patrick Harris received 3.__________ reviews, while some have blamed the 4._________ on a lack of nominations for films with mass appeal.
Last year 43.7 million tuned in when Ellen DeGeneres was at the helm.
DeGeneres had powered the show to a 10-year ratings 5._________ and proved a tough act to follow.
Critics were unimpressed by Harris's performance during the three-and-a-half hour awards show, which saw him stripping to his pants for a Birdman and Whiplash inspired sketch - something the LA Times review called "embarrassing".
Harris has previously won four Primetime Emmys for his skills hosting Broadway's Tony awards.
However The Washington Post commented: "It was bound to happen eventually. Neil Patrick Harris, the man who can host anything, finally stumbled."
Not everyone has blamed Harris for the ceremony's lack of appeal though, with some suggesting the 6._________ of this year's awards race may have put TV viewers off.
Many of this year's prizes were awarded to favourites including Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore who took the 7.__________ acting prizes on the night.
Birdman triumphed over Boyhood to win both best picture and best director for Alejandro Gonzalez.
The New York Times has suggested the gap between films that are popular in US cinemas and those winning Oscars may also explain a ratings 8._______, calling the awards "hopelessly detached from movie viewers."