This year’s Academy Awards will not award a new Oscar for popular films.
A month after announcing the “outstanding achievement in popular film” category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement on Thursday declaring its postponement.
“The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released,” the statement read. “The Board of Governors continues to be actively engaged in discussions, and will examine and seek additional input regarding this category.”
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson shared, “There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members. We have made changes to the Oscars over the years — including this year — and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”
The popular film category was seen as a possible effort to boost ratings, which hit an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers in March. The announcement said that “eligibility requirements and other key details [would] be forthcoming” for the category.
Two other changes to the Oscars’ format were announced in August: To keep the broadcast to three hours and to hold the 2020 Oscars earlier than planned — on Feb. 9 rather than Feb. 23.
Some not-yet-announced categories will be presented during commercials with some “winning moments” being edited to air later in the broadcast.
The 2019 Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019.
Back in June, the Academy sent out a record-breaking 928 invitations to new members, including Timothée Chalamet, Tiffany Haddish, Amy Schumer, Gina Rodriguez, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, Daniel Kaluuya, Blake Lively, Rashida Jones, and Jada Pinkett Smith.