Plans are already underway for the 94th Oscars, to be held on March 27, 2022, the Academy of Arts and ABC said Thursday.
After a year of disruption, innovation and catastrophically low ratings, the Academy Awards are back to normal. The show will return to the Dolby Theater for its ABC broadcast, and the entry window will close again at the end of the calendar year.
Last year, the academy extended the selection period to February and canceled non-televised events such as the Governors Awards and the Nominees Luncheon due to the pandemic. All those bells and whistles are now back on the agenda, with the Governors Awards on January 15 and lunch on March 7. The nominations will be announced on February 8.
However, the academy said dates are subject to change. The organization also acknowledges that the film industry continues to be hit by the pandemic and extends its eligibility reservation for streaming last year into the 2021 awards season. That means movies don’t necessarily have to hit theaters to qualify. and may debut on streaming or video-on-demand services.
The late March air date is much later than usual for Hollywood’s biggest awards show. Originally, the 94th edition was scheduled to air on February 27, but that month is also packed with major live events, including the 2022 Olympics and the Super Bowl.
The audience for the 93rd Oscars, held at the Union Station in Los Angeles in late April, was less than half its previous low, with just 9.85 million viewers tuned in to watch Nomadland win Best Picture. It was natural for a pandemic awards show: Both the Golden Globes (6.9 million viewers) and the Grammy Awards (9.2 million) also had record low audiences.
And next year will be different without the Golden Globes, which generally air in early January and steal some of the Oscars thunder. NBC said earlier this year it would not broadcast the Golden Globes in 2022 amid controversy and is calling for reforms within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that sets it up.