Academy vows to hold Oscars to 3 hours; creates honor for popular films

Some big changes are coming to the Oscars.

In a letter sent to its members, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson announced that the annual telecast will be held to a firm three hours, in part by presenting awards in some yet-to-be-determined categories during commercial breaks in the telecast.

"The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast,'' according to the letter, a copy of which was printed by The Hollywood Reporter.

But the Academy is also giving a nod to blockbuster films that often earn big money at theaters but don't gain any recognition at the Oscars. Bailey and Hudson said the Academy will ``create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film,'' although specifics of the category were not announced.

According to Bailey and Hudson, the Academy is also moving up the date of the awards ceremony in 2020, with the telecast now set for Feb. 9 of that year instead of the previously announced Feb. 23. Next year's ceremony remains scheduled for Feb. 24, 2019.

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world,'' according to Bailey and Hudson. ``The Board of Governors took this charge seriously. We are excited about these steps and look forward to sharing more details with you.''

Bailey was reelected Academy president by the Board of Governors Tuesday night.

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