Oscars to shorten run-time, add popular film category

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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 ceremony will also be shortened in length and will take place on an earlier date, effective in 2020. Next year's 91st Awards will take place in its traditional late February slot, but in the following year, it will be held on Sunday, February 9.

Change is coming to the #Oscars. Read the full message to Academy members below. Others will be presented during commercial breaks, with the winners' acceptances "edited and aired later in the broadcast".

-Next up, and this may be the most controversial choice, they want to create a new category: "We will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film".

Eligibility requirements for the new category have not been publicized, either, but several critics have accused the academy of pandering and lessening the stature of the best picture category.

This change passed the voting process, which signifies how important it is to make the Oscars broadcast more appealing to a wider range of viewers. The 2019 Oscars will proceed as planned on February 24.

The changes are among the most drastic made to the program in recent years.

It's among three changes approved on Tuesday by the Academy's board of governors.

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We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you.

The new Popular Film category is bound to be controversial, even before concrete details about it have been confirmed.

However, the three-hour telecast means select categories will not air live.

- Atlee Northmore (@southless95)I hope you will still telecast ALL categories including shorts. The dirty (not so) secret of the Academy Awards is that they've never really been a benchmark of excellence to begin with.

Reaction to the announcement was mixed, with many calling the "popular film" award a cheapening of the Oscars, while others lamented over the lack of recognition for stunt performers, voice actors, and motion-capture performers.

"Here's the ten highest-grossing films, when accounting for inflation aka America's most "popular" films," Palotta wrote.