Oscars Creating 'Popular Film' Category In Academy Awards Reform

Lawrence Kim
August 9, 2018

The announcement came hours after John Bailey was elected to a second term as Academy president Tuesday night. The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk 3-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of February 9, 2020.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that, starting with the 91st Oscars next year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have chose to present select categories during commercial breaks, which helps bring that bum-numbing runtime down below three hours.

The sweeping changes, to be introduced for the February 2019 ceremony in Hollywood, will also include handing out some of the 24 Academy Awards during commercial breaks in the televised broadcast. Eligibility requirements for the popular film category will be forthcoming.

The board also announced it would bring forward the date of the 2020 Oscars ceremony to February 9 - about three weeks earlier than usual.

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 Board of Governors took this charge seriously", the message stated.

All three of these changes, Nielsen-focused as they are, may seem puzzling. until you remember that the Academy's day-to-day activities depend, at least in part, on the sale of TV rights to the Oscars broadcast.

Major changes are coming to the Oscars next year.

I know many will complain about the award wins not shown live. Even comedy films were once nominated!

The Academy Awards have always gotten a lot of flack from movie fans. That same year, the Academy also reinstated a "preferential ballot" for Best Picture voting that allows members to rank films according to preference in that category, rather than simply picking one victor. Regardless of whatever "criteria" they end up outlining, the AMPAS might as well just slap a dollar sign on the trophy's forehead and call it "Most Money Earned" (or "Best Cape"). Years ago, popular blockbusters like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The ceremony will also be shortened in length and will take place on an earlier date, effective in 2020.

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