According to an exclusive report from Deadline, during last night’s Board of Governors meeting of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, members discussed the prospect of moving the Oscars telecast from its traditional February/March perch to sometime in January. The reasoning: It would cut down on the months-long slog of Oscar campaigning, help the Oscars reclaim its role as “the definitive awards show” from the Golden Globes et al., and potentially force studios to rethink how they distribute their awards-bait films, as opposed to dumping them in the early winter months.
Deadline sister site Movieline has a rundown of many of the pros and cons of moving the ceremony that’s worth reading; suffice to say that the most convincing argument against it is that the Academy is, according to one of Deadline’s sources, apparently comprised of a bunch of bumbling “old people who don’t do electronic mail,” which makes coordinating votes within that extremely limited end-of-year window impossible. And if the decision is made to move up the 2011 telecast—as the recent, unusually swift move to confirm the show’s producers and host would indicate—then it’s too late for studios to adjust their release dates and campaigning accordingly. However, if this means two fewer months of “For Your Consideration” shilling, and the potential that the January through October box office won’t necessarily be a nine-layer burrito of crap anymore, there’s definitely a plus side.