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The Oscars Just Backtracked On Future Telecast Air Dates

Don't get out those ballots just yet. According to Vulture, the Academy Awards have already bumped back their telecast dates going forward.

In 2020, the telecast will air on February 9, but the Academy pushed back air dates for 2021 and 2022 to the end of February. The 2021 telecast is set to air on February 28 of that year, and the 2022 telecast will air on February 27.

Awards Circuit founder and editor-in-chief Clayton Davis also shared the news on Twitter, writing that the Oscars organizers are "already learning that moving up an entire month was stupid," and will jump back into the late February "sweet spot" for the years ahead. 

This switch-up is supposedly planned so that the Oscars don't have to go up against other huge events like the Super Bowl and the 2022 Olympics, but it definitely speaks to a larger pattern of confusing decisions the Academy Awards have made over the past couple of years, especially considering all of the weird drama that has surrounded the biggest night in film.

To find the source of all this recent confusion, you can go back to the 2017 telecast, which featured one of the biggest mix-ups in Oscar history when La La Land was accidentally announced as Best Picture instead of Moonlight. Even though that moment drew plenty of attention, all of it was completely negative, mocking the Oscars for getting such a simple thing wrong. In the years since, the Academy has been working to clean up the mess. However, it seemed pretty odd that for the 2018 Academy Awards, they simply re-hired the same host (Jimmy Kimmel, who was armed with plenty of jokes about the incident), and seemed content to continue on with business as usual... until a few more missteps came along in the years that followed.

Before the 2019 Oscars even aired, announcements about the telecast stirred up tons of controversy. As if it wasn't bad enough that the Academy decided to cut back on performances from the Best Original Song nominees, it shoved important technical awards like Cinematography, Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup & Hairstyling into the background, announcing their intention to remove them from the telecast entirely. (They later reversed both decisions, thanks to public outcry and plenty of loud shaming from artists from within the Academy itself.) Adding to all of this was the heavily derided decision to add a Best Popular Film category, which was a pretty obvious ratings grab that eventually ended up on the cutting room floor, as well as the huge drama over who would host (which ended up being nobody at all). This considered, it's easy to see how the Oscars have fallen from grace in recent years.

With the 2019 telecast slightly up in ratings, all of this date-shifting could be a good move on the Academy's part. Until these telecasts air, though, Oscars fans can probably expect even more changes and announcements — and it remains to be seen whether these will work or simply cause even more drama.