Academy Awards to Host Live In Person Telecast in 2021

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: In this handout photo provided by A.M.P.A.S. Jane Fonda presents an award onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Richard Harbaugh - Handout/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)
Richard Harbaugh - Handout/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the 2021 Oscars telecast will be a live, in-person production next year, dispelling rumors of a virtual show.

“The Oscars in-person telecast will happen,” a representative of the Academy told Variety on Tuesday.

The annual awards show is currently scheduled for April 25, 2021, roughly two months after its regular air date. The Academy hopes that movie theaters will be back open by April, and the coronavirus will be just a bad memory, and the added two months will offer more time for films to debut to be included in the awards race.

Films debuting from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28, 2021 will be eligible for nomination. The Academy will also include films that debuted on streaming platforms during that period.

Organizers are reportedly still in the midst of crafting their coronavirus mitigation plan for the 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where the ceremony is held. But the announcement that the show will go on in-person could be the harbinger of how other awards shows will be carried out.

“The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options,” a source told Variety.

None of the stars invited for the broadcast have made any public statements about their attendance.

The Academy apparently wants to avoid the Emmy Awards plan in September, where the show was half virtual and half live. As to other major awards shows, the Golden Globes announced that their next award ceremony would also be an in-person event. On the other hand, neither the SAG Awards nor the Critics Choice Awards have decided what they will do for their shows next year.

Except for 2019, the Oscars TV ratings have been plunging for years. The 2020 Academy Awards telecast, for instance, collapsed to an all-time low in the TV ratings.

The 2019 ratings rose slightly to 29.6 million viewers after woke, wildly anti-Trump host Jimmy Kimmel left the broadcast. The 2019 numbers were a bit better than the disastrous 2018 Oscars that earned a mere 26.5 million viewers. But with only 23.6 million viewers, 2020 came in with even worse ratings than 2018 and took the crown of the least-watched Oscars in history from the broadcast that aired two years prior.

The broadcast has also been increasingly political even as its ratings continue to tumble. In 2018, for instance, President Donald Trump was ripped fifteen times during the broadcast.

The politics flowed time and again in 2019, as well, with seven presenters and winners lecturing the nation on politics as they took to the stage.

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