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Wed Aug 8 5:06 pm  #1


Next Oscars Telecast Will Be Shorter With Less "Who Cares?" Categories

Next to the Super Bowl, it's the most watched live event in North America. So why is the Academy Awards almost always such a terrible show? The producers wondered that too, and after years of resistance, those in charge have finally pushed through some reforms that will make the show next February hopefully flow a lot faster. 

Among the changes: giving out some of the least popular awards during commercial breaks (Best Set Design anyone?) while airing a heavily edited highlights package of the winners later in the show, a new category called "Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film," whatever that means, and perhaps most significant of all, ensuring the interminable show runs only three hours. 

This event makes a lot of money for the stations that show it (usually ABC there and CTV here.) But it's been a bore-athon for so long, I haven't paid any attention to it in years. (Plus I'm way out of that "go to a movie" demo.)  Still, these changes sound like they're long overdue. 

And I might just tune in next year. If only to see if the pontificating, cause-bearing Hollywood types can really be tamed enough to make the thing only last 180 minutes. THAT should get an award in itself. 

Oscars To Speed Up Broadcast 

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This brings to mind an infamous incident almost no one remembers - the year the Oscars actually ran short. How did that happen? This TV Guide article from 1977 explains what went into one of the weirdest broadcasts in movie awards history. 

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