UPDATE (9/6/18): It seems that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is backtracking on a plan to introduce an outstanding achievement in popular film category for the 2019 ceremony. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy will take more time to consider such a move. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said, “There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members. We have made changes to the Oscars over the years — including this year — and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.” It’s unclear whether the other broadcast changes will still be instituted for February’s ceremony.
Last night the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences held their annual meeting. During the events of the evening, the board of governors approved several changes to the awards show including, shorter broadcast time, awards given live during commercial breaks, and the introduction of a new category: Most Popular Film.
- The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced yesterday, that starting with the 2019 Oscarcast and going forward, the annual awards show would be undergoing some changes.
- In an attempt to appeal to a larger audience base, the Academy’s Board of Governors have decided:
- The award show’s broadcast time will be limited to three hours
- Lesser known categories will be awarded live but during network commercial breaks. The segments will then be edited and air later in the broadcast. What categories will be awarded during broadcast breaks have not been announced.
- An outstanding achievement in popular film category will be introduced starting with the 2019 Oscars. This would seem to target some of the big budget films from powerhouse studios, films that general audiences have seen in theaters, perhaps multiple times.
- In regards to select categories being awarded during commercial breaks, Deadline says, “Strangely, this is a move that was lobbied for by every Oscarcast producer over the past decade and a half, but the board would barely entertain those suggestions. They were shot down cold, every time, like those producers were asking for more Tweeting accountants.”
- And as far as the introduction of the new category goes, this gives Disney and Disney properties the potential opportunity to be nominated for more awards without the limitations of category. With an already impressive box office for 2018, films like Marvel’s Black Panther and Pixar’s Incredibles 2 could see recognition for their achievements with this new award.
- Additionally, the Board also re-elected John Bailey to a second term as president.
Memo from Academy President John Bailey and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson:
Last night, the Board of Governors met to elect new board officers, and discuss and approve significant changes to the Oscars telecast.
The Board of Governors, staff, Academy members, and various working groups spent the last several months discussing improvements to the show.
Tonight, the Board approved three key changes:
1. A three-hour Oscars telecast
We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.
To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast.
2. New award category
We will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film. Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming.
3. Earlier airdate for 92nd Oscars
The date of the 92nd Oscars telecast will move to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.
The 91st Oscars telecast remains as announced on Sunday, February 24, 2019.
We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.
We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you.
John Bailey and Dawn Hudson
The 2019 Academy Awards will air on Sunday, February 24th.