Oscar marches into March

Academy Awards set for March 7, 2010

Oscar marches into March next year, with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences picking a later date for the ceremony due to the Winter Olympics.

The 82nd annual Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, from the Kodak Theater.

The rites are usually held in late February but were held unusually early this past year due to quirks in the calendar. So next year’s ceremony will arrive nearly two weeks after the 81st awards date last Feb. 22.

ABC airs the Oscars, while the Olympics, usually a ratings powerhouse, are on NBC.

Faced with the option of an extra week of awards season, the Acad decided to put that week before nominations are announced: The noms will be unveiled Feb. 2 next year as opposed to Jan. 22 this year.

The nominations are returning to a Tuesday announcement after shifting to Thursday this year due to the inauguration of President Obama.

During the last Winter Olympics, in 2006, the awards were held March 5.

The awards were traditionally held in late March before the Acad shifted them to February in 2004.

The key dates:

Dec. 1: Official Screen Credits forms due

Dec. 28: Nominations ballots mailed

Jan. 23 Nominations polls close 5 p.m. PT

Feb. 2: Noms announced 5:30 a.m. PT, Samuel Goldwyn Theater

Feb. 10: Final ballots mailed

Feb. 15: Nominees luncheon

Feb. 20: Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards presentation

March 2: Final polls close 5 p.m. PT

March 7: Academy Awards on ABC.

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