While CBS and the Grammy Awards have no problem with running almost four hours, the Oscars have become so dedicated to keeping their show to three hours to the point that four categories will not be presented during ABC's broadcast.
After months of speculation on what categories would not be included since the Academy board of governors voted to keep the show to three hours, Academy president John Bailey confirmed that Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Live Action Short and Best Makeup & Hairstyling will be presented during commercial breaks. Previously, all 24 categories were presented.
According to the email to Academy members obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Bailey said the winning speeches for the four categories will still air later in the broadcast. The Academy is "still honoring the achievements of all 24 awards on the Oscars," he insisted.
"With the help of our partners at ABC, we also will stream these four award presentations online for our global fans to enjoy, live, along with our audience," Bailey wrote. "Fans will be able to watch on Oscar.com and on the Academy’s social channels. The live stream is a first for our show, and will help further awareness and promotion of these award categories."
Bailey, a cinematographer himself, said the executive committees from six of the 17 Academy branches volunteered to have their awards presented under this new system and the Academy chose the final four. In the future, as many as six categories could be picked to be presented during commercials, and all four of this year's categories were guaranteed a spot during the 2020 broadcast.
"Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience," Bailey wrote. "This has been our core mission since we were established 91 years ago—and it is the same today."
THR's sources said branch members saw a "video demonstration" of how the categories will be represented during the broadcast. The segments included most of the presentation, without the winner's walk from their seats to the stage. The "spirit" of the winner's acceptance speech will be included, but they could be edited if the speech is a list of thank-yous. Those who saw the demo said it provided a "respectful acknowledgement" of the category.
Bailey also confirmed that all five Best Original Song nominees will be performed during the show, including Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's Grammy-winning hit "Shallow." Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will perform during the In Memoriam segment.
Turning the Oscars from a nearly four-hour epic into a tight three-hour show has become an obsession for the Academy and ABC. During last week's nominees luncheon, Baley and producers Glenn Weiss and Donna Gigliotti even told the nominees they will have exactly 90 seconds to get to the stage after their names are called.
"When you head to the stage, move quickly," Bailey said, reports Variety. "Show us how eager you are to get up there."0comments
The last round of Oscars voting starts on Tuesday and the 91st Academy Awards airs on ABC Sunday, Feb. 24. There will be no host.
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