The Academy Awards take place this Sunday and, for the first time since 1989, the show will have no host. Viewership in 2018 fell 19 percent from the year before. In creative attempts to hold on to viewer interest, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has floated and withdrawn proposals for new awards, such as a new category for the best “popular” film. The academy also considered giving out awards during commercial breaks to trim the show’s lengthy running-time, but withdrew the idea after pushback from members. Despite the disarray, advertisers are spending record amounts for Oscar airtime.
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