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The Oscars Are Changing Because You Aren’t Watching
09 August 2018, 01:27 | Elsie Buchanan
The Oscars are adding a new category to honour popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of February 9, 2020. "Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming", reads the statement. In order to shorten the telecast, certain awards will given out during commercial breaks with an edited version of the presentation to air later in the broadcast. Still, this is sure to make many Academy members unhappy, since it could run the risk of undermining some of the minor categories.
All three of these changes, Nielsen-focused as they are, may seem puzzling. until you remember that the Academy's day-to-day activities depend, at least in part, on the sale of TV rights to the Oscars broadcast.
Critics questioned whether a film like Black Panther would be relegated to the "popular" category only because it was a commercial success. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.
The next Oscars air Sunday, February 24, 2019. The last time a new category was added to the awards was in 2001, for Best Animated Film. But Wednesday's announcement means there are more opportunities for those films to be recognized during Hollywood's Biggest Night.
Remember when Chris Rock Oscars hosted the Oscars in 2016 and he quizzed people on the street as to whether or not they'd seen the Academy Award-nominated movies from that year?
The Academy did not offer specifics about how the category will be defined. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.
I know many will complain about the award wins not shown live. Some branches of the academy might not be too happy with having their categories shifted off the live telecast, so who decides which categories get moved aside, and will it be the same categories every year?
We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you.
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