Underlining its long-range thinking, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences on Thursday announced airdates for the next three Oscar ceremonies: Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016; Feb. 26, 2017; and March 4, 2018.
This answers questions such as whether Oscars will return to Monday nights or shift its calendar dates to earlier in the year. The announcement also signals to the other awards events to set their own dates and venues.
All the Oscar ceremonies, as usual, will air live on ABC and in multiple countries around the world.
The three-year plan is unusual; on April 17 last year, the Acad unveiled its dates for the 87th Oscars, but nothing beyond.
This is another sign of the org’s sense of continuity. Several years ago, the Acad signed Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to produce three Oscar shows to both avoid the year-to-year mindset of finding a new producer for each show and to give the producers a chance to build on their learning. Zadan and Meron produced the 2013-15 rites, announcing that they will not return next year.
AMPAS moved the ceremonies a month earlier for the 76th awards, held Feb. 29, 2004. Ever since then, there has been occasional speculation that the rites could move again. That may eventually happen, but it clearly won’t occur before 2019. The dates are consistent with the pattern for the past decade; the 2018 Oscars are a week later than usual, because every four years, the Academy delays things to avoid the Winter Olympics.