Oscars Pushed Back To March Next Year

Winter Olympics put a cramp in Hollywood awards-season schedule

Movie buffs will have more time to fill out their mock ballots next year: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday (March 25) that the 86th Academy Awards telecast will be pushed back to March 2, 2014, on ABC.

It would be worth the wait, however, if there's any truth to a tabloid report that Justin Timberlake is at the top of the list to host the show. Stranger things have happened, right? We all know he'd be well-suited for the occasion (wink, wink).

The 2013 Oscars, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, aired live on February 24. A brief look at recent Oscars history reveals that the show is typically broadcast in February, except every four years when the big, bad Winter Olympics roll into town. The 2014 games will be held in Sochi, Russia, from February 7-23, and apparently those Olympians are big enough to put Hollywood on hold.

Foreseeing a conflict, the Screen Actors Guild Awards already bumped its ceremony up to January 18. The Los Angeles Times reports that the producers and directors guilds pushed their show dates to earlier in January as well.

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The Academy Awards typically cap the whirlwind Hollywood awards season, which starts in late fall and includes the SAG Awards, Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes and more. Lobbying and campaigning gets nuts around this time, so the February date was intended to shorten the season and help with ratings while viewers were still amped. The March date in 2014 creates a gap between shows that could kill the ratings momentum, but just to put our bid in one more time, if JT were to host the show, we're sure the ratings would be sky-high, no matter what day the show arrived.

If you prefer your awards season at the usual breakneck speed, you'll be happy to find out that the 87th Academy Awards are set for February 22, 2015.