The Oscars Telecast in 2024 Will Begin Earlier Than Before, With “Abbott Elementary” Coming First

The Hollywood Reporter has learned via sources that the telecast’s start time was moved early by one hour in order to guarantee that it ends during East Coast primetime.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed on Thursday that the 96th Academy Awards, which ABC will broadcast on Sunday, March 10, 2024, would begin earlier than any previous edition. This is good news for movie enthusiasts on the East Coast.

The Oscars ceremony will start at 4 p.m. PDT / 7 p.m. EDT, after a half-hour pre-show, instead of 5 p.m. PDT / 8 p.m. EDT as it has in previous years. The intended duration of the telecast is three to three and a half hours, however this is rarely achieved.

According to sources who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, the move was made in order to guarantee that the show concludes within primetime on the East Coast. In previous years, attendance has decreased as the evening wears on, especially on the earlier coast, as most people had to wake up early for work the next day.

The ABC late-night mainstay Jimmy Kimmel will host the Oscars for the fourth time, and the alphabet network will immediately follow with a new episode of its popular comedy series Abbott Elementary. This scheduling choice should help both shows’ ratings.

Averaging 18.76 million viewers and a 4.03 rating among adults 18-49 on ABC, the 95th Oscars, which ABC broadcast on Sunday, March 12, 2023 (with Kimmel hosting), had the highest ratings in three years, according to time zone-adjusted fast national ratings from Nielsen (whose numbers include out-of-home viewing).

Summary

The 96th Academy Awards ceremony will begin earlier than any previous edition, starting at 4 p.m. PDT / 7 p.m. EDT after a half-hour pre-show. This move is to ensure the show concludes within East Coast primetime, as attendance has decreased in previous years. ABC late-night mainstay Jimmy Kimmel will host the Oscars for the fourth time, and the network will follow with a new episode of its comedy series Abbott Elementary. The move is expected to boost ratings for both shows.

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