In an effort to halt the decline in ratings, eight of this year’s 23 Oscars will not be presented live during the televised ceremony. This was announced in a letter from the director of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, David Rubin.
The eight Oscars will be awarded one hour before broadcasting on March 27. Then the winners’ speeches are shown in abbreviated form in the final broadcast. The eight categories in question are: film editing, production design, sound, make-up and hair, original music and the three Oscars for short films (animation, feature film, documentary). Rubin says this will give more space for comedy, film clips and music during the award ceremony.
Declining viewing figures
The Oscars have been struggling with declining ratings for years. In an effort to reverse that trend, the organization has taken measures in the past with little success. In 2018, for example, an attempt was made to add a new category for best blockbuster. That was eventually reversed after criticism that the Oscars were bowing to pop culture. It was also felt that the generous receipts of blockbusters were already reward enough and that the gala was precisely a moment to honor the art of cinema.
In 2019, it was also proposed not to broadcast the presentation of four categories live. Then those categories would be handed out during the commercial breaks so that the show wouldn’t last more than three hours. Ultimately, that plan fell through after fierce protests from film celebrities, including Martin Scorsese.
The western drama The Power of the Dog from Netflix is this year’s top favorite at the Oscars. The modern western has 12 nominations, including Best Picture.