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Oscar Awards May Be Moved to Feb.

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Oscar Awards May Be Moved to Feb.

Future Academy Awards could be held a month earlier if Oscar overseers approve a change because of complaints about the long awards season.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' board of governors voted last week to explore moving the Oscar show from March to February in 2004. The board could decide in about a month whether to move the date up, said Bruce Davis, academy executive director.

Some people think Oscar campaigning has gotten out of hand, with studios pouring millions of dollars into advertising in Hollywood trade papers to position their movies for awards. The early part of the year also has become cluttered with other film honors leading up to the Oscars.

The change would not affect next spring's Oscars, scheduled for March 23.

The board also voted to limit Oscar telecasts to 3 hours or less, Davis said. Three of the last four shows exceeded four hours, running past midnight on the East Coast.

Davis said shortening the show and holding it earlier in the year "are kind of dual attempts to re-energize it." TV ratings have slumped, with this year's drawing the lowest rating since 1987.

Other changes the academy board has approved include toughening rules on giving honorary Oscars. The move was an attempt to limit the number of honorary Oscars each year to one or two. The Oscar show in March included three major honorary awards.

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Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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