Oscar 2020: Oscar Telecast Pushed to April 25, 2021

June 15, 2020–As expected, due to the pandemic, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony has been pushed back from February 28 to April 25, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and its Oscars broadcasting partner ABC announced on Monday.

The Oscars eligibility period for feature films — which began on Jan. 1, 2020, and was set to expire at the end of Dec. 31, 2020 — has been extended to Feb. 28, 2021. The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported on Sunday that this was set to happen.

As I showed in my book, the Oscars has been delayed three times before — due to L.A. flooding in 1938; following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968; and after the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. And, as I noted back in March, the Oscars eligibility window was extended beyond the traditional 12-month period once before, ahead of the sixth Oscars.

That ceremony, in March 1934, was preceded by a 17-month eligibility window spanning Aug. 1, 1932, through Dec. 31, 1933, so that thereafter the eligibility period could be the actual calendar year preceding each ceremony, Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

In a statement, the Academy indicated that the Oscars will still be held “at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood” and “will air live on ABC,” an apparent rejection of the possibility of a pre-taped and/or virtual gathering. And the Academy emphasized, “The intent going forward is to ultimately return to awarding excellence for films released in the January-December calendar year.”

The Oscar submission deadline for general entry categories — among them best picture, original score and original song — is now Jan. 15, 2021. The submission deadline for specialty categories — best animated feature, documentary feature, international feature, animated short, documentary short and live-action short — is now Dec. 1, 2020.

Oscar shortlist voting will now run from February 1 through February 5.

Nomination voting will now run from March 5 through March 10 (nominations will be announced on March 15); and final voting will now run from April 15 through April 20.

The Academy’s annual Governors Awards, a gala dinner, usually held in the second week of November, at which the organization, for the past 11 years, has presented honorary Oscars and, in some years, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, will not take place this fall. “Additional information about the ceremony and selection of honorees will be provided at a later time,” the Academy said, suggesting that honorees may still be chosen and feted ahead of or even at the Oscars ceremony.