How Long Are the Oscars?

Read this before you plan your viewing party.

Oscars 2020 Leonardo DiCaprio
Photo: Eric McCandless / Contributor

2021's Oscars broadcast (which happens on Sunday, April 25 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.) marks the latest the show has ever aired on TV. Blame the COVID-19 pandemic and several postponements, but rest assured that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did it for good reason: to ensure the safety of everyone involved, from the production crew to the nominees. And while there's a lot to celebrate (diversity!), when movie buffs sit down to watch the show, there's always one question that hangs over the ceremony. No, it's not whether or not the show can manage without a host (this year includes an entire cast of stars instead of one or no host), it's how long the show is.

The show's producers promised a cinematic experience, which could explain names like Angela Bassett, Rita Moreno, Regina King, and Zendaya set to make appearances.

How Long Are the Oscars?

The long list of stars means that everyone is going to get some time at the microphone, which could mean that the show's three-hour window could get extended a little bit longer. It wouldn't be surprising, since the show runs over its scheduled block all the time. Back in 2019, the Oscars ended up lasting three hours and 23 minutes. That wasn't the longest show, however. In 2002, the broadcast stretched to four hours and 20 minutes. The 2017 show was three hours and 16 minutes, which is how long this year's show is expected to run.

To shorten the show in the past, the Academy chose to exclude the cinematography, film editing, live-action short, and makeup and hairstyling categories from the main broadcast, though it hasn't announced whether or not it'll be doing the same for 2021.

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