Oscar 2009: New Academy Rules

June 25, 2009–The governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved the rules for the 82nd Academy Awards at their June meeting last week.  

The most significant change was made in the Music–Original Song category.   

In the original song category, the governors approved the Music Branch Executive Committee recommendation that if no song achieves a minimum average score of 8.25 in the nominations voting, there be no nominees and thus no Oscar presented for the category.  

If only one song achieves the required minimum, it and the song with the next highest score will be deemed the nominees. If two or more songs achieve the minimum score, they will be the nominees though no more than five nominees can be selected.  

Previously, the rules dictated that there be no more than five but no fewer than three nominees in the category.   

In addition and as previously announced, the Best Picture category will have ten nominees instead of five and the Testimonial Awards (the Irving G. Thalberg Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the Honorary Award) will be presented at an event in November of this year, separate from the televised Oscar presentation in March 2010.   

Other modifications of the rules include normal date changes and minor “housekeeping” changes.   

Complete rules for all categories can be viewed online at www.oscars.org/rules.   

Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees.  

The Awards Rules Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Academy's Board of Governors for approval.   

Oscar Award nominations in all categories will be announced on February 2, 2010.   The 82nd Academy Awards presentation will be telecast live by the ABC Television Network on Sunday, March 7, 2010.