Tuesday 14 August 2018

Oscars to introduce popular film category and shortened ceremony

An Oscar statue outside the Dolby Theatre in LA (AP)
An Oscar statue outside the Dolby Theatre in LA (AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it plans to allow for a "more globally accessible" three-hour telecast of future Oscars ceremonies.

A tweet from the Academy's official Twitter page also confirmed that a new category is being designed around achievement in popular film.

An earlier air date of February 9 has been set for the 2020 instalment of the awards show. The British Academy Film Awards have been held in February every year since 2001.

The ceremony for the 90th Academy Awards was held on March 4 and was hosted by US talkshow presenter Jimmy Kimmel. At nearly four hours long, it was the longest show in over a decade.

Ratings for the telecast fell to an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers in the US, almost 20% down from the previous year.

It was the first time the awards show had fewer than 30 million viewers since 2008 when former Daily Show presenter Jon Stewart hosted and No Country For Old Men won best picture.

John Bailey, the newly re-elected president of the Academy, told members in an email on Wednesday that the Board of Governors had approved the three major changes.

The email suggested that the shortened telecast would be achieved partly by presenting the winners of some of the categories during the advertisement break.

The abridged winning moments would then be shown later in the programme. The categories affected will be announced at a later time.

Eligibility requirements for the popular film category will also follow.

The dwindling viewing figures drew derision from US President Donald Trump, who tweeted in March: "Problem is, we don't have Stars anymore."

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