Oscars add popular film category, sets earlier air date
Members called for improvements to keep the Oscars, the academy relevant
The Oscars are adding a new category to honour popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of Feb. 9, 2020.
Dawn Hudson, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO, and John Bailey, the academy's newly re-elected president, says in an email to members Wednesday morning that the Board of Governors met Tuesday night to approve the three major changes.
"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.
Change is coming to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oscars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Oscars</a>. Here's what you need to know:<br><br>- A new category is being designed around achievement in popular film.<br>- We've set an earlier airdate for 2020: mark your calendars for February 9.<br>- We're planning a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast. <a href="https://t.co/oKTwjV1Qv9">pic.twitter.com/oKTwjV1Qv9</a>—@TheAcademy
To keep the ceremony to three hours, the academy vows to present only select categories live. Others will be presented during commercial breaks, with the winners' acceptances "edited and aired later in the broadcast."
Details and eligibility requirements of the new category, which will honour "outstanding achievement in popular film," will be forthcoming.
The new 2020 air date moves the telecast from a previously announced date later in the month. The 2019 ceremony will still air Feb. 24.
Ratings for the 90th Academy Awards fell to an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers, down 19 per cent from the previous year and the first time the glitzy awards ceremony had fewer than 30 million viewers since 2008. It also clocked it at nearly 4 hours, making it the longest show in over a decade.