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

Carla Harmon
August 8, 2018

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", the message stated.

This is not the first time the AMPAS has altered their rules in an attempt to get more commercially popular films to the table at the Academy Awards. Starting next year, the ceremony will now be shown in what the Academy describes as "a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast".

It's all change at the Oscars - the Academy has unveiled plans for a new category, a shorter telecast and an earlier airdate set to roll out in the coming years.

The 2018 awards show, which clocked in at nearly four hours, was the least-watched Oscars to date. Further details and eligibility requirements are yet to be announced, but the category is expected to cater to more blockbuster and genre films, often seen as maligned by awards ceremonies.

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

The new 2020 air date moves the telecast from a previously announced date later in the month.

The legendarily lengthy Oscars telecast will also be shortened, which means certain awards will not be presented during the live broadcast - another major break with Academy Awards tradition. Others will be presented during commercial breaks, with the winners' acceptances "edited and aired later in the broadcast". The Academy has shifted dates over the years, usually from March in the 1940s and 1980s and April in the 1960s and 1970s before settling in February in the mid-2000s.

After the news broke, film aficionados immediately dove in to the discussion to give their guesses as to what this new "popular film" category will be. It wasn't specified whether it would be added for the 91st Academy Awards this February.

It's unclear yet whether the new award will be given out at the next show, in 2019, or even what the voting criteria is going to be, but the new gong will likely mean good news for films like Black Panther and The Greatest Showman.

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