Oscars ceremony to be shortened, 'popular' category added as ratings slide

Oscars 2015 Liveblog

Also, the 92nd Oscar ceremony in 2020 will air on the much earlier date of Sunday, February 9, presumably to battle complaints that the show's usual late-February or early-March date feels a little late.

The Oscars are introducing a new awards category for outstanding achievement in popular film. Eligibility requirements for the popular film category will be forthcoming.

Rich was more upset by the decision to shorten the telecast by distributing some awards during the commercial breaks, echoing Atlantic staff writer David Sims, who tweeted that "refusing to broadcast technical awards is much, much worse and more depressing". The Academy took to Twitter to share the exciting news on August 8, which has sparked some controversy on social media.

Change is coming to the #Oscars. The eligibility dates for Oscar releases and the voting period, meanwhile, will remain the same.

The changes are among the most drastic made to the program in recent years. After The Dark Knight failed to secure a Best Picture nomination at the 81st Academy Awards, the uproar led the Academy to expand the available nominations for Best Picture from five to to ten nominees.

Does that mean even less Academy recognition for similar films now that they may have a separate category?

Future broadcasts will be three hours long and will include a new category that is designed around achievement in popular film.

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A new Oscars category has been announced ahead of the 91st Academy Awards and people aren't happy.

The Hollywood Reporter printed a message from the Academy to its members, outlining the new changes approved by the Board of Governors.

The telecast has also limited its run time to three hours or less, revealing that select categories will be presented during commercial breaks.

While there is little actual mathematics in play, there is an acknowledged link between the size of the audience drawn to an Academy Awards telecast and the box office volume of the films in contention for the top prize.

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

Many social media users and film critics criticised the change, calling it "pandering" and a "desperate" move that will seek to honour popularity over quality, or act as a token gesture to films that would otherwise have been nominated in the Best Picture category. Others wonder if this is merely a way to throw the MCU and the Star Wars universe awards without actually considering them for "main" categories, like Best Actor or Best Picture.

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