The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors has approved some major changes to the Oscars’ format, including shortening the length of the ceremony and introducing a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film.
The Academy, which re-elected cinematographer John Bailey as its president recently besides inviting more members to its fold to increase the representation of women and minorities, hopes to arrest the dwindling viewership of the main telecast ahead of the Oscars in February next year.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, which had a copy of the letter that Bailey and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson had written to the members, the board of governors has approved “significant changes to the Oscars telecast”. To make the ceremony more accessible to the viewers worldwide, the Academy will produce an entertaining show in three hours.
“To honour 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,” the letter said.
A new award category will be introduced for outstanding achievement in popular film, which will help include major box office draws that fail to get nominated or awarded in the main category. The letter said there would be more clarity on eligibility requirements and other key details later.
There will be a shift in the ceremony in 2020 with the Academy planning to move the date to February 9 instead of previously announced February 23. 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 letter read.