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HarryCarter

The Oscars Make Terrible Changes

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HarryCarter    964

It's official: the world is only catering to the lowest common denominator. With this and the Kennedy Center Honors debacle, I give up. 

We already have the People's Choice Awards  

Oscars Won't Televise All Awards, Adds Popular Film Category

Major change is coming to the Oscars.

On Tuesday night, just five months after the lowest-rated Academy Awards telecast on record (a mere 26.5 million viewers tuned in), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' board of governors not only re-electedcinematographer John Bailey as its president, but also approved several major changes to the tradition-bound ceremony's format in the hope of retaining the viewers it still has and luring others back into the fold ahead of the 91st Academy Awards on Feb. 24, 2019.

To address the concerns of those who find the show to be too long and boring (thanks largely to the current existence of 24 competitive awards, of which the general public only cares about a few), Bailey and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a letter to members that the board has "committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours." They explain that this will be achieved partly by "present[ing] select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)." Those categories will not be removed from the telecast; instead, "the winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast."

This new format is similar to the one employed at the Tony Awards, which are annually broadcast on CBS, to recognize some of its lower-profile categories. (The Tonys present those awards and record acceptance speeches of them during a pretelecast portion of the ceremony, rather than during commercial breaks. Presenting them during commercial breaks is probably intended to make nominees in those categories feel more integrated into the heart of the telecast.)

The fact that this change has been endorsed by the Academy's board of governors, which is dominated by representatives of "below-the-line" branches whose Oscar winners could be impacted by this, is a testament to how dire the situation is, as far as the telecast's ratings. Still, one can safely expect a groundswell of protest from some of the members of those branches.

At least as important, in terms of improving the ratings of the Oscars telecast for ABC, the Academy also said in its letter that it "will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film," adding that "[e]ligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming." Some will complain that adding such a category cheapens the prestige of the Oscars, making it more like the People's Choice Awards or MTV Movie & TV Awards, but that is old-world thinking. More than the length of the telecast or the name of the host, Oscar ratings have been shown to correlate with the popularity of the nominated films among the general public. And the gulf between what the public buys tickets to see and what the Academy nominates and awards has never been greater.

If the popular film award (likely to be nicknamed "the Popcorn Oscar") is implemented in time for the 91st Oscars, then there is little doubt that ratings will improve, since blockbusters like Black PantherAvengers: Infinity WarDeadpool 2Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again — and their fan-favorite stars — will be guaranteed a presence at the ceremony. (One can safely assume that their backers will not have to decide whether or not to enter in competitive categories or for the popular film category, but will automatically be eligible for both; Black Panther already was expected to seriously contend for competitive nominations and awards.)

The Academy also notified members that the date for the 92nd Oscars — the one that will take place in 2020, honoring the films of 2019 — has been moved up from the previously announced Feb. 23 to Feb 9. In all likelihood, this is to combat the sense that the Oscars have become anti-climactic, coming, as it does, at the end of a months-long season in which it is preceded by dozens of awards ceremonies. Those ceremonies won't fade away as a result of the calendar change, but people inside the industry will certainly be less burned-out by the time the Oscars finally come along.

Below is the full text of the Academy's message to its members.

* * *

The Academy's message to members is below: 

Dear Member,

Last night, the Board of Governors met to elect new board officers, and discuss and approve significant changes to the Oscars telecast.

The Board of Governors, staff, Academy members, and various working groups spent the last several months discussing improvements to the show.

Tonight, the Board approved three key changes:

1. A three-hour Oscars telecast

We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.

To honor 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. 

2. New award category

We will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film. Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming. 

3. Earlier airdate for 92nd Oscars

The date of the 92nd Oscars telecast will move to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

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 Board of Governors took this charge seriously.

We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you.

John Bailey and Dawn Hudson

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/academy-plans-three-hour-oscars-telecast-adds-popular-film-category-1133138

 

 

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Mot Morenzi    1,404

I can see the headlines 10 years from now - "Academy Award Winners Michael Bay, Khloe Kardashian team up for Pride & Prejudice & Zombies remake." Which will undoubtedly win "Most Popular Picture" or whatever they're calling it. 

Sad state of affairs, indeed. I've had a hard time taking award shows seriously for a few years now, and with these changes, it looks like I may never do so again. 

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Brock    3,296

Oooh, I overlooked this in the News section and posted in the Movies area.

This is utterly ridiculous. I have hope the backlash is so bad that they will reverse this move.

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Luvsbway    1,938

Well my cable was out during the Oscars this year and I didn't feel I missed anything. Looks like I will not be missing anything in the years to come. 

Part of the problem with the Oscars is that it's been trying to be a few funny gags mixed in with a bunch of people who seem to have a stick up there ass being there. 

This is why I love the Tony Awards. The whole night seems like a celebration of the industry. It really feels like everyone is having a fun time, the performances are entertaining, the speeches good. For a number of years they were trying to get presenters that would appeal to the masses, but it was Neil Patrick Harris really who turned it into a Broadway love fest and they have been really embracing the idea to just play to the Broadway fans. 

Emmy's still seem fun but they need to figure out how to categorize better. I don't watch the Grammys as I don't listen to modern music and therefore don't know who half these people are.

The Oscars really have a problem that continues even before the Oscars Too White issue.  i don't think this is going to fix it. 

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Freddie2    793

I wonder how proportional The Oscars downslide in ratings has been in comparison to the rest of broadcast television steadily losing viewership. Maybe by 2050 the ceremony will be a 10-minute special that takes place during Superbowl Halftime. Audiences are slightly to blame for this. Up until this decade, a decent portion of the year's highest-grossing movies have been Oscar nominees and winners. But now, with the worldwide and domestic Top 10 being relegated to a ghetto of children's movies, superhero bullshit (aka movies for children who are old enough to drive), and all the latest reboots, remakes, revamps, and sequels, it's no wonder The Academy is feeling very little love for "popular" movies today. 

Just speaking for myself, one big reason I've been turned off by the ceremony lately has been the overwhelming political nonsense. For an event that allegedly exists to honor achievements in filmmaking, it'd be very easy to confuse The Oscars with a crappy White House Correspondent's Dinner. This past year, in his opening monologue, Jimmy Kimmell actually encouraged winners to use their platform to voice their political opinions. Of course you should be allowed to say whatever you want when you get up there, but I continually dread having to hear all these people complain about this and that on national television when they've just won an Oscar. I can't imagine I'm alone in this respect.

Concept: To trim down the time of the ceremony, excise all commercial breaks and instead have a mandatory dress code where all attendees must wear clothes that have product logos emblazoned across them. 

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Mot Morenzi    1,404
10 minutes ago, Freddie2 said:

I wonder how proportional The Oscars downslide in ratings has been in comparison to the rest of broadcast television steadily losing viewership. Maybe by 2050 the ceremony will be a 10-minute special that takes place during Superbowl Halftime. Audiences are slightly to blame for this. Up until this decade, a decent portion of the year's highest-grossing movies have been Oscar nominees and winners. But now, with the worldwide and domestic Top 10 being relegated to a ghetto of children's movies, superhero bullshit (aka movies for children who are old enough to drive), and all the latest reboots, remakes, revamps, and sequels, it's no wonder The Academy is feeling very little love for "popular" movies today. 

Just speaking for myself, one big reason I've been turned off by the ceremony lately has been the overwhelming political nonsense. For an event that allegedly exists to honor achievements in filmmaking, it'd be very easy to confuse The Oscars with a crappy White House Correspondent's Dinner. This past year, in his opening monologue, Jimmy Kimmell actually encouraged winners to use their platform to voice their political opinions. Of course you should be allowed to say whatever you want when you get up there, but I continually dread having to hear all these people complain about this and that on national television when they've just won an Oscar. I can't imagine I'm alone in this respect.

Concept: To trim down the time of the ceremony, excise all commercial breaks and instead have a mandatory dress code where all attendees must wear clothes that have product logos emblazoned across them. 

Love this post.  I'm in 100% agreement. I know winners feel this urge to use their time to advocate for something, but so often it has no relation to the achievement they've been awarded for in the first place. It all feels very preachy and holier-than-thou at times. I think "Middle America" is pretty tired of having rich people give lectures about what you can or cannot do. In the case of Kimmel, given his past history, it can also feel hypocritical.

And I also dislike it when people say celebrities have to to "use their platforms" or else they're useless props. That's bull. If a person is passionate about a particular cause and advocates for it elsewhere, that's one thing, but no one should be obligated to be a spokesperson if they don't want to be. To paraphrase Paddy Chayevsky, winning an Oscar is not a pivotal moment in history, it does not require a proclamation and a simple 'thank you' would suffice. 

Adore your suggestion of wearing logo-emblazoned clothing to eliminate commercials. I can picture Reese Witherspoon in a red dress with the McDonald's arch on the bodice. 

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Freddie2    793

LOVE that Paddy Chayefsky quote. My, how things have changed. In 1977 the crowd went wild for his comment, today he would get booed! 

In his (great) Oscar article, Ken teases that he'll be talking about Kathleen Turner on Monday. I'm assuming it's in reference to a very recent and very bonkers interview she gave to Vulture, where she talks a bit about the screenplay for Jewel of The Nile. If you haven't read the interview yet, it's very worthy of your time.

http://www.vulture.com/2018/08/kathleen-turner-in-conversation.html

 

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Mot Morenzi    1,404
14 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

LOVE that Paddy Chayefsky quote. My, how things have changed. In 1977 the crowd went wild for his comment, today he would get booed! 

In his (great) Oscar article, Ken teases that he'll be talking about Kathleen Turner on Monday. I'm assuming it's in reference to a very recent and very bonkers interview she gave to Vulture, where she talks a bit about the screenplay for Jewel of The Nile. If you haven't read the interview yet, it's very worthy of your time.

http://www.vulture.com/2018/08/kathleen-turner-in-conversation.html

 

Yes, I think that's what Ken's going to be talking about on Monday. She criticizes two of the writers of that script in the interview, but apparently it's not Ken and David she's referring to. I think he's going to clarify her comments.

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Neil    1,276

I remember the year the Emmys introduced the superfluous category of separate "Actor/Actress of the Year" for Series, Special and Supporting, a category disbanded the next year.  So the winner was among those that had already won in the respective category, Mary Tyler Moore was Actress of the year over Michael Leanred and Mildred Natwick; Actress of the Year (special) was taken from one category: Actress-Drama Special and the winner of both was Cecly Tyson ("Miss Jane Pittman").   So they gave 2 acceptance speeches. 

Another one-time category in 69-70 was "Best New Series" (any type)  which went to "Room 222" over Bill Cosby's sitcom, The Forsyth Saga, Marcus Welby and Sesame Street! A bit strange since "Room 222" lost the Comedy Series award to the one-season "My World and Welcome To It', ALSO a new series that failed to get nominated in the "new" category!

69-70 was a dour year for comedy: "My World" (which I never saw) won over the Cosby sitcom, that laugh-fest The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Room 222 and Love American Style.  Best Comedy Actors: William Windom and Hope Lange had their shows canceled despite their Emmy wins.   "Actress: Drama Series" had slim-pickens: "NET" (pre-PBS)'s Forsyth Saga Susan Hampshire won over Peggy Lipton of the Mod Squad and JOAN BLONDELL from "Here Comes the Brides".   Question 1: Was "Brides" a DRAMA? (I say "No") and Question 2: Was Joan really a LEAD in the show?? (I say "No" again).  Hope Lange faced only 2 other nominees in Best Comedy Series Actress: Marlo Thomas and Elizabeth Montgomery (her last of  5 nominations for Bewitched. This was its 6th season, the first with Dick Sergeant).  This was Marlo's 4th That Girl nomination of 5 in as many seasons, all losses.   Marlo is one of the few that received a nomination for every season her show was on.  For ILL  Lucy did, but the categories bounced all over the place from "actress" to "comedienne" to "someone who essentially plays themselves" (??).   

If the Emmys had adopted the Oscars "most popular" category and based in on the ratings: in 70-71 the winner for "Comedy Series" would have been the never nominated "Here's Lucy".  At #3, it was 1) CBS's highest rated show and 2) television's highest rated comedy.   In fact HL was the ONLY sitcom to make the top 14 of the Nielsens.  Mayberry --a comedy?, I suppose-- was #15.   Based on this method, the 5 Best Comedy nominees would have been HL, Mayberry, My 3 Sons, Doris Day and Henry Fonda's "The Smith Family".   Of those, I would have to pick HL strictly by default! 

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Freddie2    793

With the deadline looming ever closer, apparently the Academy is looking at Kevin Hart to host this year's ceremony. I'd rather watch Bill Cosby emcee the show live from San Quentin. 

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Freddie2    793

Kevin Hart has stepped down as host after failing to properly apologize for making homophobic jokes in the past. Now, I think Hart and his puerile ego are a poor fit for the show, but the fact that he was edged out over "offensive" material seems like an incredibly regressive move. Anyway, here's hoping they give Tiffany Haddish a call!

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Mot Morenzi    1,404
9 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

Kevin Hart has stepped down as host after failing to properly apologize for making homophobic jokes in the past. Now, I think Hart and his puerile ego are a poor fit for the show, but the fact that he was edged out over "offensive" material seems like an incredibly regressive move. Anyway, here's hoping they give Tiffany Haddish a call!

I can't say I'm a big fan of his either, but most of us have said immature things and made dumb jokes at some point or another. It sucks when you're a celebrity and there's documentation of most everything you ever say. He made those jokes a long time ago and he apparently already apologized for them. Some folks just like being offended, I guess. 

I say dial down the politics and make the Oscars fun again. Have Carol Burnett host in character as Nora Desmond. 

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