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08 August 2018, 09:25 | Myron Mathis
The Oscars have always been a bit of a popularity contest, but a new award for "outstanding achievement in popular film" is set to shake things up a bit.
In 1929 at the first Oscars ceremony, the Academy awarded films in two separate categories - Outstanding Picture and Unique And Artistic Picture - both considered the top awards of the night.
Many commentators appeared unimpressed with the planned changes, suggesting that while it attempted to recognise films generally regarded as less serious the new category still relegated certain productions to a second-tier status.
It means films which are popular with the public but not with critics could be much more likely to be recognised.
We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy's board of governors came together on Tuesday to figure out how they can add some pep to their golden-glazed step for a culture that changes rapidly by the hour.
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 91st Annual Academy Awards, honoring the film achievements of 2018, will take place February 24, 2019. Details on eligibility have yet to be announced. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.
The move quite clearly seems to be an effort to reinvigorate interest in the Oscars with the show's TV ratings declining severely in recent years, the hope being that seeing more blockbuster titles in the awards show might prompt more casual audiences to tune in. The body stated that the smaller awards will be presented during the telecast's commercial breaks, with the winning moments aired later in the broadcast. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously. It wasn't specified whether it would be added for the 91st Academy Awards this February. "Popular films are films!"
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