Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET on
SUBSCRIBE TO MSN MOVIES ON
'85th Academy Awards' is dropped -- now it's just 'The
The upcoming Academy Awards show is the 85th, a significant anniversary that
in past years might have brought a reunion of past winners, special film clips
or some sort of recognition on the Oscar show.
But this year, the number 85 has been quietly retired, and so has the phrase
Both disappeared from official AMPAS materials about three weeks ago. "We're
rebranding it," Oscar show co-producer Neil Meron told TheWrap on Monday. "We're
not calling it 'the 85th annual Academy Awards,' which keeps it mired somewhat
in a musty way. It's called 'The Oscars.'"
During TheWrap's interview with Meron and his partner Craig Zadan, Meron said
they were under the impression that the new approach would continue in the
Academy spokeswoman Teni Melidonian confirmed that the change has happened
for the upcoming show, but described it as the kind of typical adjustment in the
ad campaign and overall message that takes place every year in consultation with
the show's producers and the network, ABC.
"It is right for this show, but we could easily go back to using 'Academy
Awards' next year," she said.
The majority of the show's posters and advertising materials focus on host
Seth MacFarlane and the phrase "The Oscars," with no mention of how long the
Academy has been hosting this shindig and no use of the phrase "Academy
And Academy press releases dealing with the upcoming show, which used to
routinely mention the number, stopped doing so around the beginning of February.
The last such AMPAS release appears to have come on Jan. 29; since then, every
release has found ways to avoid the phrase "85th Academy Awards."
When initial voting began, for example, the Academy's Dec. 14 release began,
"Nominations voting for the 85th Academy Awards will open at 8 a.m. PT, Monday,
But when final voting began seven weeks later, its release said this: "Final
voting for the Oscars will officially open on Friday, Feb. 8th at 8 a.m.".
The phrase "The 85th Academy Awards," which used to begin the last paragraph
of most Oscar-related press releases from the Academy, has been replaced with
"Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2012."
It's hard to say that the Academy is completely turning its back on its
history, given that this year's show includes a celebration of the 50th
anniversary of the James Bond movies and a tribute to movie musicals of the past
decade. But it is consciously (if quietly) looking not to use a big round number
when trying to woo viewers closer to the age of Quvenzhane Wallis (9) than
Emmanuelle Riva (85), and trying to get less formal by making the show's
nickname its official name.
"It'll be like the Grammys," said Meron. "The Grammys don't get a number, and
neither will the Oscars."
He's not exactly right: The top of the Recording Academy's Grammy page
(right) is headed, "The 55th Grammys," and the number appears in the
first sentence of most NARAS press releases.
The Oscar.com page, on the other hand, just says "The Oscars."
Are things like "The Oscars" really necessary? These actors and actresses are already getting paid an extraordinary amount of money to do what they do, and they still need several different award shows to stroke their egos?
Article-specific SEO text: MSN Entertainment's guide
to the 2013 Academy Awards is your go-to resource for full coverage of the awards
with predictions, red-carpet coverage, nominees, winners, videos, photos,
highlights and more.