The Academy Awards generally run for over three and a half hours, but the 2019 Oscars are shorter than the usual event. In the past, the show would generally run from 8 – 11:30 p.m. ET/5 – 8:30 p.m. PT. The time it’s supposedly ends would always run over due to long acceptance speeches. After all, it is a live event. This year, the show has been shortened, but there’s still a good chance it may not end when it’s supposed to end. The show runs from 8 – 11 p.m. ET/5 – 8 p.m. PT this time around.
And, in hopes of keeping speeches under control, the Academy stated that winners are limited to 90 seconds for their acceptance time. Some winners surely will go over the time anyway, especially if nerves are involved.
Ahead of the awards show, Academy President John Bailey told the Los Angeles Times in September 2018, “We are committed to a three-hour show. It’s necessary. I feel we have a responsibility to the people who watch that show in the Eastern time zone, which is a huge market, to have that show ended by 11. Nobody that I know of has protested about that.”
The Academy previously wanted to give out some awards during the commercial breaks to keep the show shorter, but this was met with a lot of backlash, according to BBC. In place of showing the actual giving of the awards, edited highlights would be shown during the telecast. Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter commented, “That would’ve been really risky. During commercials, when people at the ceremony know they’re not live on the air, they run around and talk to people, go to the bathroom, be a little loud, and that could’ve come across as disrespectful to the winners who are getting their awards during that time.”
Some people who objected to this included Spike Lee, Seth Rogen and Martin Scorsese, as reported by BBC.
As for why the Oscars has become such a long show, THR’s Feinberg also said, “The first Oscars took less than 10 minutes. Television came along, and networks paid a fortune for the Oscars, and as a result they expected a more complete kind of show. That meant no longer just handing out the awards but adding performance elements, so it became more telegenic, to include singing, dancing and comedy.” According to Today, there are 24 categories for the Academy Awards.
According to Screen Crush, some have protested the shortening of the Oscars, saying the glamorous ceremony should be long. There were reports that the Best Song performances would be narrowed down, but Variety reported, “A source with knowledge of the Academy’s thinking says cutting songs is less a knock on the nominees than something long discussed as part of this year’s mandate to limit the show to three hours. The Academy has hinted that several Oscars (for so-called “craft” categories such as sound editing and sound mixing) will be presented during commercials, an already controversial move.”
Some people make bets on how long the annual awards show will run. What time do you think it will end tonight?