Los Angeles: The Oscars next month will record the announcements of eight winners in an effort to make the televised event “strong and electronic,” organizers said Tuesday.
The decision, made “to put television audiences first,” will free up more time for music, comedy, and awards, said Academy President David Rubin in an email to nominees and members.
Oscars’ television ratings have dropped dramatically in recent years. Last year’s program was viewed by just over 10 million viewers – a 56 percent decrease from 2020, which was already a record low.
The eight awards “will be presented at the Dolby Theater an hour before the live broadcast,” and the highlights will be “rolled out seamlessly in a live broadcast,” said an email was seen by AFP.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has combined to reduce the number of categories in live streaming before, and recently merged its awards for “sound mixing” and “sound editing” into one Oscar.
But previous efforts have been unpopular, especially among members of the craft industry – from film editors to cosmetics and hairdressers – who are afraid of missing out on time that often highlights work.
Those categories will now be pre-recorded, as well as prizes for real effect, sound, production design, documentary shorts, animated shorts and live playing shorts.
Rubin’s email emphasizes that “every award-winning filmmaker and artist in every category will still have a ‘Oscar moment’ for the Dolby stage, which is aimed at a growing audience.”
The directing move will leave “more time and opportunity for spectator entertainment and engagement with comedy, music numbers, film clip packages, and movie awards,” he said.
“For local viewers, the flow of the show does not change, although it will be stronger and more electricized with this new cadence.”
A member of the Academy, who asked not to be named, told AFP that they “understood” the decision announced by Rubin, due to the fact that all the winners’ talks will still be on the radio.
“Given the recent decline in Oscar’s broadcasting rates, the show should develop and have a positive impact on the future of the game, as well as the Academy itself,” said the member.
It is the Academy’s latest initiative to promote interest and spectators in its flagship event.
The broadcast of the 94 Academy Awards will also include a new “fan favorite” award for the most popular film of the year, as voted by Twitter users.