Huge Changes Coming To The Oscars

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The Oscars are adding a new category for popular films and shortening the award ceremony to three hours. The People's Choice Awards already exist, and most "popular" films already get one award: money.

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. It also means that the film with the most first place votes doesn't always win Best Picture.

The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of February 9, 2020. Details on eligibility have yet to be announced.

Academy board members may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive years in any one office. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

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On top of that, in a bid to keep things interesting and moving, the 3-hour telecast will now only present select categories live, while other winners will be handed out during commercial breaks.

The move quite clearly seems to be an effort to reinvigorate interest in the Oscars with the show's TV ratings declining severely in recent years, the hope being that seeing more blockbuster titles in the awards show might prompt more casual audiences to tune in. Winning moments will be edited and later aired during the broadcast.

It is unclear, however, whether the change will come into effect in time for the next Oscars ceremony in February. And that's saying a lot since you awarded Best Picture to Crash. In some respects, this feels like a cynical attempt by the Academy to create an Also-Ran category that will appease moviegoers who, for example, saw Black Panther but couldn't find (or weren't interested in) a theater that was screening a festival darling like The Miseducation of Cameron Post, as well as appease genre fans who just want to see a Marvel movie take an award outside of the technical categories. "Popular films are films!"