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Movies/TV

Oscars add popular-film category, promises shorter ceremony

| Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, 12:51 p.m.
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2015 file photo, an Oscar statue appears outside the Dolby Theatre for the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk 3-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2015 file photo, an Oscar statue appears outside the Dolby Theatre for the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk 3-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES — The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony and a much earlier air date in 2020.

John Bailey, the newly re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, says in an email to members Wednesday morning that the Board of Governors met Tuesday night to approve the three major changes. Eligibility requirements for the popular film category will be forthcoming.

To keep the ceremony short, Bailey says some categories will be presented during commercial breaks, with the winning moments edited and aired later in the broadcast.

Ratings for the 90th Academy Awards fell to an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers, down 19 percent from the previous year and the first time the glitzy awards ceremony had fewer than 30 million viewers since 2008. It also clocked it at nearly 4 hours, making it the longest show in over a decade.

The 2019 ceremony will air Feb. 24, while the 2020 ceremony will move to Feb. 9.

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