NEW YORK — To fight slumping rankings, the Oscars are present process a radical slimming down, with eight awards to be introduced off-air throughout subsequent month’s telecast of the 94th Academy Awards.
In a letter despatched Tuesday to members of the Academy of Movement Photos Arts and Sciences, the group’s president, David Rubin, mentioned that the awards for movie enhancing, manufacturing design, sound, make-up and hairstyling, music (unique rating) and the three brief movie awards (documentary, live-action and animated) might be introduced on the ceremony earlier than the March 27 reside broadcast begins on ABC.
Now, as a substitute of beginning the ceremony and broadcast abruptly, the Dolby Theatre ceremony will start an hour earlier than the telecast does. The presentation and speeches of these early eight winners might be edited and featured throughout the three-hour reside broadcast, which Rubin emphasised would nonetheless present every winner with their “Oscar second.”
Rubin mentioned the modifications had been needed for the longer term well being of the Academy Awards.
“When deciding the best way to produce the Oscars, we acknowledge it is a reside occasion tv present and we should prioritize the tv viewers to extend viewer engagement and maintain the present important, kinetic, and related,” wrote Rubin. “This has been an necessary focus of debate for fairly a while. We do that whereas additionally remembering the significance of getting our nominees relish a once-in-a-lifetime expertise.”
The potential of pulling among the Oscars’ 23 classes from the printed has lengthy been a matter of debate. In 2019, the academy initially sought to air 4 classes — cinematography, enhancing, make-up and hairstyling and live-action brief — in a shortened, taped phase. However after a backlash ensued, the academy reversed itself days earlier than the present.
However rankings have continued to fall. Final 12 months’s broadcast, severely altered by COVID-19, plummeted to an all-time low of 9.85 million viewers. (In 2018, 29.6 million watched.) Strain has mounted not solely with the Oscars’ longtime broadcast companion, ABC, however throughout the academy to innovate a cultural establishment that has lengthy resisted change.
This 12 months, after a number of host-less Oscars, producers are turning to the trio of Amy Schumer, Regina Corridor and Wanda Sykes to emcee. The present, produced by Will Packer, will even acknowledge the favourite film as voted on by followers on Twitter.
In remaking the Oscars to be much less of a march by means of awards, the Academy Awards will change into just a little extra just like the Tonys and the Grammys, which have equally shrunk the variety of awards handed out throughout their telecasts. That hasn’t stopped a rankings slide for both, although. Each the Tonys and the Grammys notched new viewership lows in 2021. Some have argued that no tinkering can stem the tide in opposition to any community tv broadcast in a extra diffuse, streaming media world.
Rubin pledged the revamped broadcast might be “tighter and extra electrical” due to the class shifts but in addition promised one eyebrow-raising tweak from final 12 months’s ceremony will not return: The present will once more finish with the award for finest image.