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    3 Reasons Why The Oscar Ratings Are Up

    Hint: It doesn't hurt to have movies people actually like.

    The early returns on the Oscarcast are in, and despite the ferocious reviews the show is receiving, they are pretty good.

    The first morning numbers — to be revised later in the day — have the show receiving a 26.6 rating and a 41 share, which is decent 4% improvement over last year's Billy Crystal–hosted event. Better still for the Oscars' future: The show appears to have improved a stunning 19% in the 18- to 49-year-old demo.

    Writing Oscar's obituary has become such a ritual that it will be hard for the industry to even wrap its head around the good news. But a first glance at why suggests a few big answers. How is America's oldest cultural event — one that pre-dates television itself — still able to show signs of life? We've got three explanations.

    1. The Films

    2. The Host

    3. Community