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The Academy cancels plans for 'Popular' film award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has canceled its recently announced plans to introduce a “Popular” film Oscar at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards early next year. The official statement from AMPAS reads as follows:

“While remaining committed to celebrating a wide spectrum of movies, the Academy announced today that it will not present the new Oscars category at the upcoming 91st awards. The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released. The Board of Governors continues to be actively engaged in discussions, and will examine and seek additional input regarding this category.”

Other recently announced changes to the 2019 ceremony will be maintained, including a 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.

“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,” says 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.”

The Board of Governors also voted to move up the date of the 92nd Oscars telecast to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The date change in the timeline will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

Starting in 2020, the Scientific and Technical Awards will move to June, as the technologies honored do not represent achievements within a specific awards year.

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


Silas Lesnick is the Senior Editor of Moviebill. He has been covering entertainment news out of Los Angeles for more than a decade. You can reach him via e-mail or on Twitter.

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