After a year that saw the film industry turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 93rd Oscars held on Sunday will also be different from previous ceremonies. But while other award shows were forced to go virtual during the pandemic, the Academy is planning an in-person event despite the difficult circumstances.
“In this unique year that has asked so much of so many, the Academy is determined to present an Oscars like none other, while prioritizing the public health and safety of all those who will participate,” the Academy said in a statement earlier this year. “To create the in-person show our global audience wants to see, while adapting to the requirements of the pandemic, the ceremony will broadcast live from multiple locations, including the landmark Dolby Theatre.”
As the following chart shows, the “pandemic editions” of the Grammys and the Golden Globes didn’t resonate well with audiences in the United States. Exacerbating a negative ratings trend, both shows saw their TV viewership drop by more than 50 percent this year – a fate that the Oscars’ producers will desperately want to avoid.