September 19, 2016 at 11:37 pm #1201925338
Two nights ago, the Emmys on their annual telecast. Somehow, they handed out 27 awards and finished the show on time. The Oscars have 24 awards, and still can never figure out how to, not only make the show move faster, but to bring the show in on time. (even though, technically, the Emmys finished at 9:57 central time, I’m still calling it on time.)
This is for anyone connected to the Academy Awards telecast in any capacity. In addition to going back and watching exactly what the Emmys this year did, here a few more helpful hints.
1. Reign the host in.
For years I have been dying for the Oscars to go host-less, because hosts do two things: they tell jokes and they take up too much time. The Oscars do not need the host to do a montage or sing a song at the top of the show, then come out and tell jokes for five to eight minutes, that is just taking up too much time. It should be one or the other. (For years, the Golden Globes had no host, the same number of categories as the Oscars and they always ended on time. Without playing the winners off. It can be done, and should be done soon.
2. Start the show at 7pm. Eastern time.
Lose the ABC red carpet pre-show. It is pointless, repetitive, and I get tired every year of seeing Robin Roberts & CO. vamp for twenty minutes because everyone is already inside, waiting to see if they won. By starting the show earlier, people can stay up and see who wins. I guarantee you by starting at that time, the ratings would automatically improve.
3. Lose the songs. All of them.
They add nothing, they waste time, and they take time away from the winner’s acceptance speeches. And it’s no like anyone knows the songs anyway. The mass public that is. For the most part.
4. the categories nobody seems to care for.
Ok, the last couple of years, the morning after, people complain about how there are categories like Live Action Short, Sound Mixing, etc. that should not be telecast. Because they feel by losing those categories, the show would end earlier. Not necessarily. And the branches of the Academy insist that those categories should be aired. Ok. Here’s how to make everyone happy. Sorta.
Do what the Tonys have had to do. Some “technical” awards are given out either an hour before the televised portion of the show or in between commercial breaks. So, for argument’s sake, let’s say there are at least 6 commercial breaks. When you come back from the commercial, we should hear “While you were away, the OScar for Best Live Action Short went to…” And we see a 20 second clip of the winner’s speech. So, again, for argument’s sake, the following Oscars are recapped: Best Live Action Short, Best Animated Short, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Documentary Short, Best Documentary Feature. That will save you some time on the length of the show, because, the Emmys proved it and the Globes used to, that the show can be on time, you just have to make small adjustments.
5. Let the winners speak.
For at least 60 to 90 seconds. Per category. Ok, seven visual effects guys just won, guys start talking fast because you’ve got 90 seconds. There’s only one Best Actor winner. Baby, you’ve got 90 seconds. After the 90 seconds, instead of being played off with music, the microphone should, automatically, no matter who is speaking, it should just drop like a shot right to the ground, through the floor. That way, everyone, even the winners, know their time is up and no one can hear them. Then cue the orchestra.
These are just some suggestions for how to run a tighter show. All other suggestions are welcome.September 20, 2016 at 4:30 am #1201925418
I like all your suggestions except the removal of the host. I find that the best use of a host is how Billy Crystal was used. He did an opening number that included breaks where he told jokes. He came out and introduced presenters with a quick joke. That’s all you need, but it is something with real value.
The nominated songs in particular would be best presented as a medley if kept at all. I was honestly insulted the year they had performances of some of the nominated songs but left off the ones that they didn’t think would be interesting enough. Embarrassing.September 20, 2016 at 5:02 am #1201925421
This is DISRESPECTFUL. The Tonys do it and it’s still disrespectful because actors could speak for five minutes, but shorts (often categories, in which the nominees have fought for years to realize their projects and made no profits at all) should be in the ghetto. The Tonys are disrespectful to the actual nominees in these categories, because with the montage they show, the nominees get zero screen time (and zero exposure) while the winner gets 10 seconds. (Not to mention that the Tonys do it because of all the numbers and because they don’t have the aura of the Oscars. The Oscars can be 4 hours and ABC would still say OK. CBS would never allow the Tonys to be 4 hours. The Oscars are the Oscars after all.) All due respect but this idea is BS to me.
Why don’t even understand why people think that making the show shorter by 30 minutes would make the ratings better?! To make the show better, the Academy should find a way to improve the show…and to nominate more popular films. Not to cut it by 30 minutes.September 20, 2016 at 8:53 am #1201925488
I really disagree with cutting any of the categories or giving them out off-air EXCEPT best original song. That category has become ever more irrelevant each year and it would also free up even more time by eliminating the performances. This category has nothing to do with the craft of film making and really does not belong.September 20, 2016 at 9:30 am #1201925499
I enjoy the host and don’t think the limit should be 90 seconds. As long as they are saying something important….Inarritu last year…as soon as they start thanking agents, etc…let the 30 second clock start ticking. Also, I have always thought that a simple move from Sunday night to Saturday night would do wonders for the ratings. How many people bail that live on the east coast and central time zones just because everyone works on Monday.September 20, 2016 at 11:00 am #1201925527
The only factible solution, I think, is to lose the songs’ performances.September 20, 2016 at 11:03 am #1201925529
I really disagree with cutting any of the categories or giving them out off-air EXCEPT best original song. That category has become ever more irrelevant each year and it would also free up even more time by eliminating the performances. This category has nothing to do with the craft of film making and really does not belong.
I agree with this. The ceremony is about celebrating cinema. Shorts are cinema too. Some of the most touching speeches in Oscar history came from the shorts’ categories. Even the Academy likes to brag about how they awarded some directors for their shorts that eventually came to direct pretty successful feature length films. The only pointless category is Best Original Song, the only one I could do without. But even for that one I can see some arguments being made.
All of your other suggestions (red carpet, hosts etc) are mostly irrelevant to me. I’m the minority that likes hosts that make the attendees uncomfortable, like Gervais or even Chris Rock last year.September 20, 2016 at 11:55 am #1201925542
How about the Oscars just learn how to showcase real talent from people of color the way the Emmys do? That’s enough for meSeptember 20, 2016 at 1:10 pm #1201925582
Rather than cutting the Best Original Song category, I think that it should become standard practice for every nominee to be given a performance slot. I was quite unimpressed that at the past ceremony, they only invited the three superstar nominees to perform (probably as a ratings draw) and excluded the two lesser known artists who could have greatly benefitted from the exposure of being on the Oscar stage. I’m particularly unimpressed that they left out Anohni, who is only the second transgender person nominated for an Oscar in any category in history.
If anything should be cut to make the Oscars shorter, it should be the segments they devote to highlighting / previewing / playing clips from the Best Picture nominees throughout the night. Everyone at the ceremony already knows these films, and everyone watching at home can easily YouTube a film trailer if something piques their interest, so I don’t believe that there’s really much point to it.September 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm #1201925620
I disagree with almost all the suggestions. While I do think the host should not make his/her monologue too long, I disagree with most of the other ideas.
Most people, including myself, love the red carpet special, because we love to see who’s at the show, and if a nominee is there, he/she can talk about the nomination and what it means to them.
I like hearing all the songs, although the Academy does need to do an all or none policy. Either all the songs are performed or none at all. No more of this popular-artists-perform-only idea like we had this year.
I actually respect the Oscars for having all the categories presented live on the air, because I feel it’s important for casual viewers watching at home to see who makes these movies, and I think their work is just as important as the on-camera talent. In fact, I feel the Tonys should try to follow in the Oscars footsteps and present all of their categories live on the air as well. The best way they can do that is by cutting out performances of musicals that were not nominated for Best Musical or Best Revival Of A Musical, and by having only one song performed by each musical nominee, not a medley of three or four songs each.September 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm #1201925625
I agree that the show is too long, but it’s important that the tech categories are respected and acknowledged just as much as the acting categories. I also enjoy the songs and the monologue, though I do agree the host doesn’t need SO much screentime. But I think the best we can do is just accept that the Oscars are a long and often boring ceremony, but we watch them anyway, and they’ll keep being long and boring.September 20, 2016 at 4:48 pm #1201925640
All that to end the ceremony on time? And that’s important because… ?
I’ll just add that removing categories from the broadcast is an absolute NO. Me and the nobodies and the Academy don’t care you don’t care.September 21, 2016 at 8:39 am #1201925876
The show could go on for 8 hours and I wouldn’t care. (Nobody fucking hoops and hollars when a football game goes on for 5 hours why all this shit about award shows?! The Olympics are literally 2 weeks long!) I would love it if every winner had at least 2-3 minutes each to speak. They have been working for decades for this moment. Shows need a host. Please look to this year’s VMAs. No host and it was an unorganized chaotic mess with many things going on that made you forget it was an award show. The songs should be performed. The show would be boring without them. Just as with a host, it doesn’t need to be a marathon of acceptance speeches. There needs to be some entertainment value in the SHOW because it is a SHOW and not a press conference. The problem is when they pick self-indulgent hosts like Chris Rock to host to make it all about him or just beat a dead horse for 4 hours.September 21, 2016 at 10:17 am #1201925903
Props to the Emmy telecast producers for their timeliness.
"I don't even believe in god, but I'm going to thank her tonight."September 21, 2016 at 1:50 pm #1201925990
The Emmys stumbled onto its “timeliness” this year with a combination of no-shows, showing full acting clips for ONE category, and rudely playing off acceptance speeches before they were finished. No one should applaud them for that shit, nor should this be a model for the Oscars to emulate. Keep the host, the original songs (as much an institution as anything on the show), and every single category on-air (I’d even bring back the Governors Awards to the main telecast for a real marathon duration, but that’s for another discussion). If the show runs 4+ hours b/c of any of that, so be it.
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