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Broadcast Of Oscars Moves To Sundays

Sat., March 28, 1998

The Academy Awards will find a new home on Sundays next season.

Billed as “Sunday With the Oscars,” the ceremony will enjoy an earlier start time and offer plenty of opportunities for network preshow specials, said Robert Rehme, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“It will get better ratings on Sundays,” Rehme said. “It’s the same as Super Bowl Sundays. There is no specific reason that we do the Oscars on Mondays. It’s a holdover from decades ago, and the Academy has been very traditional in sticking with Mondays.

“With Sunday not being a work day, we’ll attract an even broader audience. It will be even easier for the West Coast. Viewers won’t have to worry about getting home on time (to see the start of the show).”

Rehme, however, would not promise any changes to the length of the telecast.

“It’s not a popularity contest. This is a serious piece of business. The awards come before the show,” he said. “I’m sorry if it’s boring here or there. The purpose of the Academy Awards is to recognize accomplishments.”

For the season, the telecast ranks behind NBC’s Super Bowl and Super Bowl pregame shows in terms of total viewers.

Monday’s telecast of the 70th Annual Academy Awards generated its highest household ratings in 15 years, with an estimated 87 million U.S. viewers seeing at least some of the three-hour, 47-minute telecast.


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