However, for at least the last several years (probably longer - what was that Rob Lowe'/Snow White thing again?) there has been much discussion in leading up to the broadcast of how to appeal to younger viewers. This culminated in last year's terrible host decisions. Clearly someone thought that younger hosts would appeal to younger viewers, without considering the actual hosts they were hiring. (Does anyone like those two?) That flop led to hiring Brett Ratner - whygodwhy - which was also a terrible decision.
The fact of the matter is, young people will either watch it because they grew up watching and revering it, or ignoring it because - let's face it - it's an awards show and they just don't care. Those that are on the fence will tune in if there are movies they've seen or enjoyed nominated. Now, the Academy has different artistic sensibilities than the young. If the nominated movies were those that appealed to a younger demographic, they'd get younger viewers.
Take, for example, the 2nd annual youtube awards.
I know. It sound ridiculous. Some sort of mashup of the teen choice and MTV movie awards. But check out what won:
Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50)
Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Andy Serkis (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Albert Brooks (Drive)
Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Dark Knight Rises Trailer 2
MOST UNDERRATED FILM
THE I'M SHOCKED IT DIDN'T SUCK AWARD
Fast Five (tie)
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (tie)
Okay, some fun, silly categories. But they movies that were picked to win? Drive, 50/50, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Bridesmaids, Rango, Harry Potter, and Warrior are all very well received films critically (metacritic scores: 79, 72, 71, 68, 75, 75, 87, 71. Michael Fassbender's aggregate for the year is a 71. EvenFast Five is a 67.) (The best picture nominees are : 72, 46, 62, 81, 89, 83, 84, 85, 87.) Aside from Rango, one Dragon Tattoo, and one Bridesmaids nomination, none of these are up for major awards. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Drive, and Harry Potter all had legitimate shots at being a best picture inclusion at precursors. If they were, I bet you'd get more younger viewers.