Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Oscars Is Changing Things Up With a New Category

Oscars Is Changing Things Up With a New Category

"The Board of Governors took this charge seriously", John Bailey and Dawn Hudson said in a letter sent to Academy members on Wednesday. He also said the Academy promises a brisk three-hour Oscars ceremony next year, and a much earlier air date in 2020. Starting with this Oscars season, the award show will be adding a popular film category. Eligibility requirements for the popular film category will be forthcoming.

The 92nd Oscars have also been brought forward from 23 February to 9 February 2020, though the eligibility dates for Oscar releases and the voting period will remain the same.

Australia's Logie Awards wrestle with a similar issue, in that they have two groups of categories, one voted by the audience, and the other voted by juries of industry professionals.

The 91st Oscars telecast will air on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

There's an important through-line, here.

While the Academy did not directly address the falling viewers for the telecast, it did admit that changes were necessary. Others wonder if this is merely a way to throw the MCU and the Star Wars universe awards without actually considering them for "main" categories, like Best Actor or Best Picture. They want those eyeballs.

Academy board members may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive years in any one office.

From next year, there will be an award for outstanding achievement in popular film, the first time a new Oscar has been introduced since best animated film in 2001.

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Plus, there's the whole "popular films should already be nominated" argument. And while plenty of award shows have seen ratings decline, Variety reports that none suffered almost this badly. 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 goal of Nielsen ratings.

The Academy has made this promise before, of course. Warren Beatty's old! Well, the Academy plans to remedy that, and to paraphrase Bobby D's Oscar-winning song, things will change.

In order to fit all the awards into the new 3-hour timeslot, certain awards will be presented during commercial breaks. Adding "Best Achievement In Popular Film" is, in actuality, the Academy being fucking honest for once.

Read the full letter from The Academy below.

It is unclear, however, whether the change will come into effect in time for the next Oscars ceremony in February.

In another concession, AMPAS announced that the Oscars telecast will now be kept to three hours.

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