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Academy Retreats on ‘Popular’ Oscar Category for Now

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its new planned “popular” Oscar “merits further study” and will not present the new category at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards.

The organization stated that “while remaining committed to celebrating a wide spectrum of movies,” it recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year “creates challenges for films that have already been released.”

The AMPAS board of governors will continue to be actively engaged in discussions and will be seeking input regarding the category going forward.

“There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We have made changes to the Oscars over the years — including this year — and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”

There may have been a wide range of reactions, but most made publicly in the wake of the Academy’s August announcement were heavily critical. Vocal opponents included actor Rob Lowe, filmmaker Adam McKay, producer and screenwriter James Schamus and late Oscars producer Craig Zadan.

Other planned changes to the 91st Oscars (2019) will move forward, including restructuring and shortening the length of the telecast to three hours. To honor all 24 award categories, six to eight categories will be presented live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks. The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast. Selected categories will be rotated each year. The Academy will collaborate with the show producer(s) to select these categories.

Key dates were also unveiled for the 2019 Academy Awards season, which will be dramatically shortened due to the move of the Oscars telecast up two weeks:

Saturday, November 16, 2019 – Governors Awards
Thursday, January 2, 2020 – Nominations voting opens
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 – Nominations voting closes
Monday, January 13, 2020 – Oscar Nominations Announcement
Monday, January 27, 2020 – Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Thursday, January 30, 2020 – Finals voting opens
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 – Finals voting closes
Sunday, February 9, 2020 – 92nd Oscars

The upcoming 91st Oscars will be held on Feb. 24, 2019.

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