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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Via AP news wire

Will an earlier Oscars broadcast attract more viewers? ABC plans to try the 7 p.m. slot in 2024

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Academy Awards enthusiasts won’t have to stay up quite as late to hear the best picture winner in March.

The 96th Oscars will begin one hour early, with the official show starting at 7 p.m. Eastern for the first time, ABC said Thursday. The official pre-show will also begin earlier, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

The show has traditionally begun at 8 p.m. Despite various experiments to keep the runtime to three hours, the broadcast has sometimes stretched into the 11 o'clock hour.

The Oscars are broadcast globally in more than 200 territories and film academy membership has also become more international in recent years. Those involved in the show, from the film academy to the network, have also been working to get ratings back to pre-pandemic levels and making modest gains.

Jimmy Kimmel is returning to host the show for the fourth time, with Raj Kapoor serving as executive producer and showrunner alongside Katy Mullan and director Hamish Hamilton.

The 96th Academy Awards will air live on ABC on March 10 from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 23.

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