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Oscars Announce Big Changes To Iconic Award Show

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It's a known fact that an Oscar is one of the most prestigious awards an actor can receive.

Actors vie for the golden trophy throughout their careers, but only a lucky few have the honor to place a statue on their mantle.

"I feel as though I'm standing on magic legs in a special effects process shot that is too unbelievable to imagine and far too costly to make a reality," Tom Hanks said in his 1995 acceptance speech for "Best Actor" for his role in Forrest Gump.

"But here is my mark, and there is where I'm supposed to look. And believe me, the power and the pleasure and the emotion of this moment is a constant the speed of light."

While several A-list celebrities like Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, and Johnny Depp have yet to earn the distinguished award, the Academy's board of governors have just approved several changes to the award show, including a new category that may help give them a shot.

The Changes

The overhaul comes five months after it was announced the 2018 Academy Awards was the lowest rated televised show in its 90 year history.

The 2019 viewing will see it cut down to three hours instead of its approximate four, which will be achieved by "present[ing] select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks," according to a statement by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.

However, viewers will still see the the winning moments later on in the broadcast after they've been edited for length.

The 91st Academy Awards will also introduce the "Achievement in Popular Film" category, which is expected to target popular superhero films.

Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe CEO Kevin Feige has already been promoting Black Panther to become nominated for the new category, which is could be up against other popular candidates like Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, and Mission: Impossible - Fallout.

Here is the complete message sent out by the Academy's Board of Governors:

"Dear Member,

Last night, the Board of Governors met to elect new board officers, and discuss and approve significant changes to the Oscars telecast.

The Board of Governors, staff, Academy members, and various working groups spent the last several months discussing improvements to the show.

Tonight, the Board approved three key changes:

1. A three-hour Oscars telecast

We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.

To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast.

2. New award category

We will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film. Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming.

3. Earlier airdate for 92nd Oscars

The date of the 92nd Oscars telecast will move to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

The 91st Oscars telecast remains as announced on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.

We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you."

Reactions

Following the announcement, film fanatics were quick to voice their opinion on social media, with the majority of people believing the new category will cheapen the award show's integrity.

However, there are still a handful of individuals who are in favor of the new category and are coming to the Board of Governors' defense for their controversial decision.

How do you feel about the changes to the Oscars? Will you still be tuning in? Let us know in the comments!

[H/T: The Hollywood Reporter]

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com