Prepare For A Late Night: The Oscars Will Probably Run Long Again This Year

Photo: Ed Herrera via Getty Images.
Awards season is shorter this year, and the Oscars ceremony may be, too. The Academy Awards has been moved up to February 9 from its usual place at the beginning of March or end of February. And while the Oscars will still be long in 2020, they'll likely be shorter than most of the other recent ceremonies. Here's how to plan accordingly if you want to stick around until Best Picture is announced. After the La La Land/Moonlight fiasco of 2017, you can't risk missing anything.
Sunday's Academy Awards will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Of course, if you're interested in the red carpet coverage, that starts a couple hours earlier. Those who want to spend the entire day with the Oscars can watch E!, which is starting coverage at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT with Countdown to the Red Carpet followed by a red carpet show at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. ABC, the network airing the ceremony, will also have red carpet coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m PT.
As for when the Oscars will end, ABC has scheduled three hours for the ceremony. But this just means that the show will be at least that long. It can still run over, which is something the producers of the telecast have been making efforts to avoid.
Last year, a number changes to the Oscars were announced, and two of them faced so much backlash that they didn't end up happening. First, there was the "Best Popular Picture" category, which was "tabled," as reported by Vox. Then, there was the idea to present certain categories, such as Best Editing and Best Cinematography, during commercial breaks, possibly editing them in later in the broadcast, as a way to shorten the length of the telecast. This also didn't come to fruition. When it came down to it, the 2019 Oscars ceremony was three hours and 17 minutes long, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A similar length can be expected this year, since it's unlikely that the producers and the Academy will completely reverse their efforts to keep things short... er. As reported by Variety, between 2009 and 2018, the shortest ceremony was three hours and 14 minutes (2012) and the longest was three hours and 53 minutes (2018). Most of them were between three-and-a-half and four hours.
This year, expect to tune in for around three hours and 15 minutes, if you want to experience all your movie-related joys and frustrations in real time.

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