Academy Awards looks to reverse sliding ratings run with change of name
Eighty-five years down the illustrious moviemaking path, Hollywood’s ‘night of nights’ will now be known quite simply, and officially, as ‘The Oscars’ in an attempt to refresh the brand, according to its producers.
With the decision led by ratings figures for the event that have been on a long-term downward trend since a high of 55 million in 1998 (the year Titanic dominated), new concepts have been attempting, yet failing to reverse the trend.
With official publicity beginning to use the informal term just a handful of weeks ago, the Oscars show co-producer Neil Meron explained the following to reporters:
“We’re not calling it ‘the 85th annual Academy Awards’, which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It’s called ‘the Oscars'”, he says. “It’ll be like the Grammys. The Grammys don’t get a number, and neither will the Oscars.”
While the condensed, colloquial title is seen as progressive by many, to others, ramifications from the rebrand may affect the historical structure of the event.
By modestly calling the show ‘The Oscars’, this could quite possibly lead to the end of special celebrations to mark notable anniversaries such as montages of past winners and pre-recorded interviews, but it is seen as only a minor issue to the integrity of the showcase.
And in light of all the media exposure, Academy spokeswoman Teni Melidonian believes that the rebrand might not be permanent anyway. “It is right for this show, but we could easily go back to using ‘Academy Awards’ next year,” she says.
The Oscars are currently underway at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California with first-time host Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy, American Dad, Ted) leading the way.