Welcome to Oscars Sunday, and what a relief it is for Oscar watchers everywhere to write those words after yet another elongated season. This year’s Oscars show is a month later than it should be, but if show producer Will Packer has used the extra runway to deliver the Oscars show to end all Oscars shows, well, few seem to have much faith he’ll pull it off. In fact, there’s a real worry that it might be the Oscars show to end the Oscars.
And the overriding concern? That eight of tonight’s categories won’t even be presented live during the ABC telecast, which starts at 5 p.m. PT, as the Academy attempts yet another controversial pump of ratings CPR. Instead, as stars still shuffle into the Dolby Theatre, these eight awards will be handed out by Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin beginning at 4 pm. Edited highlights of speeches—which seem unlikely to feature the words of protest we hear are on the way—will be peppered into the main show. But we’ll only know who’s won when they do because the Academy will tweet the unembargoed results. Deadline has heard that not even journalists in the press room will have access to this forgotten hour of the show. Only those in the Dolby will ever witness them live and unedited. Such irony, considering one of the excluded categories is… Editing.
Still, we’re kicking off our annual liveblog in time for these categories, because they’re a fully-fledged part of Oscar night to us, even if not to the Academy. We have positioned ourselves well: Joe is fully set up a stone’s throw from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Mike, meanwhile, is in… Scotland. 5000 miles away. Having a lovely time at St. Andrew’s Film Festival. On Oscar weekend. No, none of his colleagues are sure why either.
We’ll be trying to bring you as much information about what’s going on in that first hour courtesy of our indefatigable man on the ground, Pete Hammond, who will be sending us illicit dispatches from inside the Dolby. And of course, we’ll charge full steam ahead when the show kicks off on ABC, celebrating the winners, reeling at the surprises, and scrutinizing every minute of the show in search of justification for this year’s tranche of changes. Joe will, as usual, be trying to sidestep Mike Fleming’s references to his beloved British rom-coms. And Mike will be trying to stay awake, considering the show proper doesn’t start until 1 a.m. local time in Scotland. Thankfully, other Deadline staffers are poised to chip in as and when. And, at some point, our roving reporter Antonia Blyth will decamp from her spot on the world’s starriest red carpet to let us know what she’s heard.
Hosting the big night: Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, the first Oscar hosts since 2018’s Jimmy Kimmel affair. How will they approach the gig? And then there’s an almost full sweep of Original Song performers to serenade us. Only one has been left out—Van Morrison for his original song from Belfast—perhaps because of the Northern Irish singer’s controversial stance on Covid vaccinations. His performance will be replaced with a rendition of that instant Encanto favorite: “We Don’t Talk About Van Morrison.” Or “Bruno.” Whichever.
Will all these restored bells and whistles after last year’s dull Union Square affair add the necessary entertainment value to ensure we aren’t mainlining caffeine before we even get to In Memoriam? Join us below as we find out, and do be sure to add your own voice to the comments. The best of them may even make it into the blog.
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