Note to Oscar: Awards Shows Just Aren't as Relevant as They Used to Be

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Before today's Oscar drama, it was fairly known around the entertainment world that the Academy Awards had declining ratings and that their aura, their prestige, was no doubt on a free-fall as well.

A total of 26.6 million viewers watched the 2018 Oscars. The Academy Awards had a 19% decline in viewership that year when compared to 2017's telecast, and a 39% drop from the show’s recent peak in 2014. The coveted 18-49 demo fell 24% from 2017 and 47% from 2014. 

Disney-ABC have a contractual agreement with the Academy to broadcast the Oscars until 2028. Ratings must stay above sea-level. At the moment, they are below. 

With all that food for thought, Variety is reporting that a few days after 90th Academy Awards telecast aired in March "Disney-ABC Television Group executives met with leaders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to convey a message" and face the inevitable and dire elephant in the room: The increasing irrelevance of the Academy.

Variety goes on to add that  "At the come-to-Jesus meeting after March’s show, the TV people walked through the lousy ratings at a granular level, identifying precise moments during the show that prompted viewers to stop watching. They made several recommendations about the ways that the telecast’s length could be reigned in, and proposed a “best blockbuster” category that would reward films that had been seen by larger audiences. They also argued that viewers had become fatigued by the ever-increasing number of televised awards shows — including the Golden Globe Awards, whose viewership has been relatively stable in recent years — and that the Oscars should be moved to an early calendar period."

To ABC, adding a "blockbuster" category is a way of getting younger fanboys engaged, thus upping viewership. 

However, they need to know it's much worse than that. What we are seeing is a mass public's shrug of irrelevance to Awards shows in general.

The thought of rich actors getting awards is just not as commonly accepted today as it may have been even a decade ago. The turbulent socio-political changes that have happened in this country have turned awards shows into these mundane, soulless experiences. Sure, decreasing the show's length from 4 to 3 hours will help ratings a teeny bit, ditto the "blockbuster" category, but father time won't spare the Oscars in the long-run. What many people are refusing to admit is that what we are really seeing here is the deteriorating relevance of awards shows.