The Oscars will start an hour earlier for the first time.
To ensure the show is completed during prime time hours, the Academy announced that this year’s broadcast, which will air live on Sunday, March 10, will be scheduled from 7:00-10:30 PM EST / 4:00-7:30 PM PST. The live ceremony will begin with a 30-minute preshow, and immediately following the ceremony, ABC will air a new episode of the Emmy-winning comedy series “Abbott Elementary.” (Must be an Oscar-themed episode, right?)
The popular mockumentary series, created, produced, written and starring Quinta Brunson, was nominated for eight Emmys for its second season, including outstanding comedy series.
Following the live presentation of the Oscars, the television broadcast will be rebroadcast in Pacific Time.
As previously announced, Emmy Award winner Jimmy Kimmel is returning for the fourth time as host of the ceremony. Raj Kapoor will serve as showrunner and executive producer, while Molly McNearney and Katy Mullan will serve as executive producers. Hamish Hamilton will direct the television broadcast.
The 2023 Oscars ratings saw a surge in viewership, attracting an average of 18.8 million viewers, up 13% on previous figures. It beat out the 2023 Grammys and Emmys by more than double. The ceremony earned a 4.0 rating in the key demo of adults 18-49, a three-year high for both total viewers and the demo; 5% increase since 2020.
The 96th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theater at Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood and Highland) and will be broadcast live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.
The practice of airing a new episode of a TV series following the Oscars reflects the Super Bowl’s tradition of airing a program after the big game to capitalize on its massive audience advantage. While not Super Bowl-level numbers, the Oscars are normally rated as one of the most-watched live events (non-sports) of the year. And with strike-delayed series finally returning to the air this spring, ABC likely sees the Oscars as a big promotional opportunity to draw viewers back to series they’ve missed, including priority series like “Abbott Elementary.”