When the 94th annual Academy Awards is broadcast next month, not all of the awards presented will be aired live.
In a letter sent to members by Academy president David Rubin on Tuesday, he revealed that several of the categories will take place prior to the live telecast, and will then be edited into the show.
As Variety pointed out, this latest move comes after disastrous viewership for the 2021 Oscars, which attracted the lowest ratings in Academy Awards history.
In his letter, Rubin noted that the decision came after “carefully listening to feedback and suggestions from our film community, our network partner, and all those who love the Oscars,” which made it “evident we needed to make some decisions about the broadcast that are in the best interest of the future of our show and our organization.”
Wrote Rubin, “When deciding how to produce the Oscars, we recognize it’s a live-event television show and we must prioritize the television audience to increase viewer engagement and keep the show vital, kinetic, and relevant. This has been an important focus of discussion for quite some time. We do this while also remembering the importance of having our nominees relish a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
To serve all these goals and still allow enough time “for audience entertainment and engagement through comedy, musical numbers, film clip packages and movie tributes,” eight awards will be presented in the Dolby Theatre ahead of the official ceremony, “in the hour before the live broadcast begins.”
He added: “They will not be presented in the pre-show nor on the red carpet, as some have speculated. Instead, the in-person ceremony at the Dolby Theatre will begin one hour earlier to present eight awards categories before the live telecast starts. Those presentations will then be edited by our creative and production teams and will be folded seamlessly into the live televised show.”
The categories that will be awarded ahead of time and then edited into the live broadcast are Documentary (Short Subject), Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Production Design, Short Film (Animated), Short Film (Live Action), and Sound.
“We realize these kinds of changes can prompt concern about equity, and we ask you to understand our goal has been to find a balance in which nominees, winners, members, and viewing audience all have a rewarding show experience,” Rubin explained. “Moving forward we will assess this change and will continue to look for additional ways to make our show more entertaining and more thrilling for all involved, inside the Dolby Theatre and watching from home.”
The 94th annual Oscars will take place on Sunday, March 27.