The Academy announces new changes to the Oscars, including popular film category

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"We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide", the board said.

The new category will be called the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film and was announced by Academy President John Bailey and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in a letter (via THR).

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. Now the Oscars will take a page from the Tony Awards playbook by announcing some of the categories during commercial breaks.

It's unclear what exactly spurred this decision to consider a category for "popular film" and what exactly that would entail (likely big box-office movies that aren't necessarily considered Oscar-worthy).

The airdate has been bumped up just for the 2020 telecast ― from February 23 to February 9 for 2020. The 2019 ceremony will still air February 24.

The next ceremony will be the 91st Academy Awards. The annual awards show usually runs over three hours, with the longest show clocking in at four hours and 20 minutes minutes in 2002. The Academy Awards broadcast has been facing some troubles as of late.

Earlier airdate of February 9th, 2020.

It's hard to read this as anything but an acknowledgement of the continued complaint that the ceremony's major categories, specifically Best Picture, often highlight indie films and small-scale dramas, many of which haven't even been screened in certain parts of the United States and the world at the time of the Oscars telecast. "Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming".

Criticised in the past for ignoring blockbusters and genre films, the move will hopefully mean a more balanced view of the American film industry - although the Best Picture nominations are unlikely to change.

The 2019 Oscars will look a little different.

This may be inspired by declining Oscar ratings over the years as well as the Best Picture victories for more niche movies like "Spotlight" (2015), "Moonlight" (2016) and "The Shape of Water" (2017). "Popular films are films!"

Some categories will be presented "during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)".

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