The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided that the Oscars will be a bit different in the future: The ceremony will be shorter (maybe), run earlier in the year and include a new category.
The board of governors announced the changes in a letter to academy members after the board’s Tuesday meeting. The academy also tweeted out a succinct memo Wednesday morning:
The devil is in the details. It’s not clear when the new award category will be rolled out. The letter said the academy plans to “create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film,” adding that eligibility requirements and other specifics “will be forthcoming.”
The airdate has been bumped up just for the 2020 telecast ― from Feb. 23 to Feb. 9 for 2020. The 2019 show will still run on Sunday, Feb. 24.
As for keeping the telecast to three hours, the academy explained:
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.
Whether these changes mean the show will be better remains to be seen, but we’re suddenly very excited for next year’s awards season.