With award ratings in freefall, Oscar organizers hope for the best in a lost year
April 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Organizers of the Academy Awards are avoiding crystal balls, but they too appear resigned to the grim prospect that, for all their efforts and precautions, a disappointing number of viewers will tune in Sunday night.
The question, in fact, seems goes beyond just how low ratings will go in this lost year to whether award shows can rebound from the declines already witnessed in 2020 and 2021 if and when the world returns to a semblance of normalcy.
Even before the pandemic, the persistent slide in award-show ratings prompted ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to toy with the idea of a "popular film" category, a proposal that was nixed after considerable criticism in 2018.
While a few blockbusters have crept into the nominations -- including Marvel's "Black Panther" two years ago -- the Oscars face the same challenge that has plagued the Emmys and other award shows: A general fragmentation of the audience, and a corresponding move to celebrate more niche-oriented fare.