Oscars add popular film category, sets earlier air date

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's board of governors approved several changes to the annual Oscars show last night during their meeting Tuesday night in which they re-elected John Bailey to a second term as president.

The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony and a much earlier air date in 2020. While the details of this new category have not been disclosed yet, it's safe to assume that nominees will be films that managed to please not only critics, but audiences as well.

The legendarily lengthy Oscars telecast will also be shortened, which means certain awards will not be presented during the live broadcast - another major break with Academy Awards tradition.

The changes follow an uneasy period for the Oscars, after the four-hour long 91st Academy Awards attracted only 26.5m viewers, a drop of 19% since the previous year and the first time in a decade ratings had dropped below 30m. So, while they're being straight up about "this is the movie that y'all voted for the most with your dollar this year", the Academy's also telling you that whatever movie you liked best probably wasn't going to win without them being "generous" enough to invent a new slot.

The airdate has been bumped up just for the 2020 telecast ― from February 23 to February 9 for 2020.

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The Academy is making some changes to the Oscars. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.

"Here's the ten highest-grossing films, when accounting for inflation aka America's most "popular" films," Palotta wrote.

That move came after outcry accompanied the Academy's perceived failure to nominate "The Dark Knight" and "WALL-E" for the top award, instead favoring "Frost/Nixon", "Milk" and "The Reader".

- Damian Pietrzak (@Damiansport1)We need to see all categories and awards, please do not give anything in commercial breaks. As THR points out, the most successful movies at the box office each year are rarely represented in the main categories and usually have to make do with technical awards.

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