Five months after their lowest rated telecast on record, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors approved major changes to the traditional ceremony:

3 Hour Show

Instead of the usual 4 hour broadcast, the Oscars will go for three hours, presenting some awards during commercial breaks, which is bound to cause some frustration to “lower profile awards” that have already been quite ignored by the ceremony in the past.

Best Popular Film

A new category has been created to praise films that would not be considered ” Oscar material”  in the past, but went on to amass fortunes in the box office while still carrying enough semblance of a message to captivate audiences around the world.

Perhaps the biggest change of all, since the “Popcorn Oscar” as its being called (probably in reference to MTV’s Movie Award, known for giving high praise to top blockbusters) may change the structure of the traditionally intellectual event forever and may finally give us a chance to see Vin Diesel holding a golden statue.

I think that’s a highly controversial decision, but I also applaud the effort to give films like Black Panther and Wonder Woman a shot at being considered dense enough for discussion among the higher echelon of Entertainment in the US.

Earlier Date

Finally, the last change is moving the date from Feb.26 to Feb.9, to combat claims of being anti-climatic.

You can read the Academy’s Official Statement 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

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