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 Footage Arts and Sciences, the group’s president, David Rubin, mentioned that the awards for movie modifying, manufacturing design, sound, make-up and hairstyling, music (authentic rating) and the three brief movie awards (documentary, live-action and animated) can be introduced on the ceremony earlier than the March 27 dwell broadcast begins on ABC.
Now, as a substitute of beginning the ceremony and broadcast suddenly, the Dolby Theatre ceremony will start an hour earlier than the telecast does. The presentation and speeches of these early eight winners can be edited and featured through the three-hour dwell broadcast, which Rubin emphasised would nonetheless present every winner with their “Oscar second.”
Rubin mentioned the adjustments had been obligatory for the long run well being of the Academy Awards.
“When deciding easy methods to produce the Oscars, we acknowledge it is a dwell occasion tv present and we should prioritize the tv viewers to extend viewer engagement and hold the present very important, kinetic, and related,” wrote Rubin. “This has been an essential focus of dialogue 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 for pulling a number of the Oscars’ 23 classes from the published has lengthy been a matter of debate. In 2019, the academy initially sought to air 4 classes — cinematography, modifying, 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 yr’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 associate, ABC, however inside the academy to innovate a cultural establishment that has lengthy resisted change.
This yr, 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 awards, the Academy Awards will turn 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 towards any community tv broadcast in a extra diffuse, streaming media world.
Rubin pledged the revamped broadcast can be “tighter and extra electrical” due to the class shifts but additionally promised one eyebrow-raising tweak from final yr’s ceremony will not return: The present will once more finish with the award for finest image.