TOLDJA! Oscars Not Moving Earlier In 2013 – And 2014 Could Even Be Later

As I first revealed in a November 28th exclusive (and then again Dec 31 ) the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences would not be moving the Oscar show any earlier than Mid-February and most likely not at all despite rampant, and wrong, media speculation elsewhere (both before and after the Deadline article appeared) that they were indeed going to shift the 2013 show a month earlier to late January. Not only was this not going to happen for next year’s show, it also is not in the cards for 2014, because the same configuration of dates and conflicts exist there too – and then some. ABC has a say in all this, as well as the Academy of course, and they did not want the late January date according to my plugged-in source. Feb 3rd is the Super Bowl and the following Sunday is the BAFTA awards and will likely be  the Grammys (which narrowly eclipsed the Oscar ratings this year for the first time ever, largely due to the death of Whitney Houston the night before). The earliest the show could go was February 17th, just a week earlier than usual  and as I wrote in November the Board would have to decide whether moving up just a few days was worth it. The Academy’s Board of Governors had a meeting last night and obviously they decided leave it on the same weekend it usually takes place, so February 24th at the Not-Kodak Theatre is it. Since Oscar ratings were up this year despite having a lower grossing lineup of Best Picture nominees, there was no need to make a panic move even if they had been so inclined. This was the smart thing to do as the Academy realized the Oscars are still the one movie award that will be remembered long after the season ends.

As for 2014 there is an even bigger question since the Winter Olympics take place February 7-23 in Russia. In past Winter Olympic years, the Academy has shifted its Oscar date back a week so as not to compete.  That would mean the 2014 Oscars  will likely have to be Sunday March 2nd.

I think the Academy, wisely, has come to the conclusion that trying to move the show earlier just isn’t feasible. Its members, unlike critics groups, take a while longer to try and see everything and going with a January Oscars would be chaotic in that regard and also in terms of movie release schedules. Plus, there are the voting dates of all the awards shows that precede it to consider, most specifically the guild shows that were very concerned. At least one major guild met with the Academy in person to voice those concerns  and it is interesting to note that as soon as their shows were done this year, SAG PGA and DGA, as well as BAFTA  all quickly planted their flags on the same weekends for 2013, a dead giveaway there would be no attempt by the Academy to move earlier.  The Academy itself has now followed suit and announced its 2013 show date much earlier than usual.  Last year it waited until April 26th to set the date.

The most significant change is the date for nominations, moving from January 24th this year to January 15th in 2013, nine days earlier.  It’s a change made possible by the advent of electronic voting, which the Academy is expected to implement in the next Oscar voting season.  Ballots can come in much later with online voting although the Academy made no mention in today’s release of what date the nominating ballots will be due back.  This year they had to be in on January 13th, a full 10 days before the announcement. There will be no need for that long a period if the new methodology works like it does with other awards voting groups which allow ballots to be out until shortly before their nominees are made public. By moving nominations up to mid-January, they will also blunt the impact of the Golden Globes, which are likely to be held just two days before on January 13. It will give the Academy voters a lot more time to actually see the nominated films. Not a bad thing at all.

 

  1. What they should be doing is moving them even later – hopefully the March date to accommodate the Winter Olympics will show that.

    It they were back where they were in the 1970s/early 80s – i.e., first week of April or last week or two of March – it would put them far away from the beginning of year insanity and let the Oscars be the last word (if not the definitive one, which they will never be) on the Awards season. It worked for years, why not now?

    1. Could not agree more — wish more people who felt like you voiced their same opinion. The Oscars seem to fighting with itself thinking that it is not THE award out there that they feel they need to be the first to go out there — they are and should be the final word and I’m sorry but academy members and audience members should actually see all the nominees and not be rushed into voting.

  2. All I can say is thank you deadline for being on the side that makes sense — these are the oscars after all:

    i am just sick to death of this discussion of moving the oscars closer when really they should be moving it later — many academy members said that they had not even been able to watch all the movies nominated and opted not to even vote in those categories that they did not see all the films — Does the academy not realize that they are only hurting the integrity of the oscars — its supposed to be given to the best and should be voted on by people who have seen all the films and the nominations and eventual awards should reflect that — not what people are talking about or who their favorites are. They are so worried about other awards shows but really the most surprises and the most viewers have come when the awards were in March. They are surely making the oscars less important because they don’t allow time for audiences to see the films that they nominate — almost making it a point to nominate little seen films that don’t get released until late January. Wake up Academy and stop pandering to those who want to move it sooner thinking that will make it more important — it just causes the awards shows to be bunched up and thus zero chance of any surprises.

  3. I prefer the show in February as opposed to March or April. Dragging the thing out til 1/3 of the new year has passed was always stupid. could this town tolerate promoting For Your Consideration shit for that long again? Late February or one week later in the Olympic years is fine.

  4. As long as ratings are important and the Academy wants the Oscars to be on Sunday, it will never air earlier than 2/3 weeks after the Super Bowl. January is filled with playoff games on Saturday and Sunday and the Academy will want at least an entire week of news cycles dedicated to Academy Awards news, not split between them and pre/post Super Bowl hubbub.

  5. Early to Mid March is the best time. It gives voting members as well as audience members time to ACTUALLY SEE THE MOVIES and thereby have a vested interest in who is nominated and in who wins.

    Why they moved the nominations up is still beyond me despite the explanation.

  6. They shouldn’t be afraid of going up against the Winter Olympics. It’s going to be in Russia, and Olympics that are heavy on tape delay broadcasts don’t usually do as well as live. Stay away from the opening ceremonies and figure skating, and they should have no problem.

    Wimps.

  7. I agree — the Oscars should be in mid-late March. It somehow feels more special there. It gives the audience a chance to build anticipation for the event. Yes, it’s a long awards season, but it just makes the whole thing much more exciting.

  8. The problem with pushing the Oscars to March/April is that nowadays there are too many so-called precursors that only want to become ‘predictors’. By the time the Oscars are here, we all know who is going to win, and upsets seldom happen. Thus, the Oscars lose a lot of the excitement and surprise they used to have when there were only a handful of precursors.

  9. Three comments:

    (1) The reason the Oscars were moved up to February some years back was pressure from ABC affiliates, who wanted the show during the February “sweeps”.

    (2) I can see the 2014 show on February 23rd, despite it being the last day of the Winter Olympics.

    And the Oscar show need not go head-to-head against the Closing Ceremonies: NBC could simply broadcast the closing ceremonies live in the afternoon (around 1 P.M. EST) instead of holding them for prime-time on tape.

    This would preclude the Oscars from competing against the Olympics.

    (3) I don’t think the Oscars will move up to the third weekend of February since I suspect that from here on, NASCAR’s premiere event, the Daytona “500” (usually the third Sunday of February, although not the recent running), will be in prime-time every year after Fox got very good ratings for a prime-time broadcast of the race, with little time to promote the fact the race would be under he lights.

    I don’t know when the 2013 Daytona “500” will be held, but if it’s February 17th, a likely prime-time running of the race would likely preclude the Oscars from having moved up to that week.

  10. BAFTA is the group that really tries to influence the Oscars, I would love to see AMPAS moving its date just to annoy BAFTA.

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