NEW YORK – Oscars are set to undergo a radical change by presenting 8 awards off-air for the 94th ceremony ahead of broadcast to combat plunging ratings.

“The #Oscars are slimming down. Eight trophies will be presented off-air before the Academy Awards live broadcast on March 27”, AP Entertainment tweeted.

On Tuesday, president David Rubin sent a letter to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ members that reads, “the awards for film editing, production design, sound, makeup and hairstyling, music (original score) and the three short film awards (documentary, live-action and animated) will be presented at the ceremony before the March 27 live broadcast begins on ABC”.

Now instead of doing both broadcasting and ceremony at once, the event will start an hour earlier than the telecast. Rubin emphasized that the entitlements and monologues by those 8 winners will be later edited into the 3 hours of live broadcast and will provide each winner their well-deserved ‘Oscar moment’, Rubin emphasized.

“The changes were necessary for the future health of the Academy Awards” stated Rubin while announcing the long-resisted change.

Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences the group's president David Rubin
hollywoodreporter.com

“When deciding how to produce the Oscars, we recognize it’s a live event television show and we must prioritize the television audience to increase viewer engagement and keep the show vital, kinetic, and relevant,” reads the letter by Rubin. “This has been an important focus of discussion for quite some time. We do this while also remembering the importance of having our nominees relish a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The likelihood of cutting some of the Award categories from the show has been a matter of debate for a long time now. Earlier in 2019, the academy attempted to broadcast only four categories – editing, makeup, hairstyling cinematography as well as live-action shot in a short-recorded segment. However, after receiving tremendous criticism, the decision got reversed just a few days before the show.  

However, show ratings continued to decline due to Covid. In fact, last year, it hit its extreme low with 9.85 million viewers while 29.6 million in 2019. The declining views resulted in mounting pressure on both the academy and its long-time partner, ABC, to bring the long resisted cultural institutional change.

For this year, the producers and others associate of the show have decided to Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall, and Amy Schumer to host the Oscars after several host-less ceremonies.

Moreover, the show will also acknowledge the favorite movie as per the fans’ voting on Twitter. Rubin promised that the revamped show would be “tighter and more electric” and again concluded with the ‘award for the best picture’.