Oscars to Trim Some Awards From Telecast, Add a ‘Popular Film’ Category

08 August, 2018, 22:33 | Author: Norman Carr
  • The Oscars Will Be Adding A New Category To Honor ‘Popular’ Movies

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed that as of next year, the length of the Academy Awards TV broadcast will be shorter, and a new "popular film" category will be introduced.

The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of February 9, 2020.

To accommodate a three-hour ceremony, the Academy will present select categories live in the Dolby Theatre and during commercial breaks. Now the Oscars will take a page from the Tony Awards playbook by announcing some of the categories during commercial breaks.

The Oscars have always been a bit of a popularity contest, but a new award for "outstanding achievement in popular film" is set to shake things up a bit. Details on eligibility have yet to be announced. The Academy has shifted the date of its 2020 broadcast, which will honor 2019 releases, from February 23 to February 9. They argue the change "will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process". The 2019 Oscars will proceed as planned on February 24.

There's an important through-line, here.

The academy will also try to boost Oscar viewership by trimming the telecast itself.

The Academy last added a new category in 2001 for Best Animated Feature. They want those eyeballs. Here's what they had to say in a message sent out to members recently. Nine years ago, the Academy expanded the best picture roster from five nominees to 10.


"Here's the ten highest-grossing films, when accounting for inflation aka America's most "popular" films," Palotta wrote. These aren't questions to which we have answers, yet.

Today's announcement seems like a decidedly inelegant gambit to accelerate, or perhaps do an end-run around, that process, and all for the objective of Nielsen ratings.

Last night, the Board of Governors met to elect new board officers, and discuss and approve significant changes to the Oscars telecast.

The Academy has made this promise before, of course.

Major changes are coming to the Oscars next year. Would they have been too popular for the official Best Picture category?

You can find the full letter below. Leadened with below-the-line category award presentations for accomplished pros that Oscar's global audience was completely unaware of, who then thanked love ones that the world at large was even less aware of, Oscar struggles in the ratings ever year, despite the cleverness of hosts like Jimmy Kimmel or Hugh Jackman.

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