I'll just start off by being frank: The Oscars are not known for their brevity. Historically, the telecast goes way over its scheduled time slot. It's an issue producers attempted to correct this year by announcing plans to cut the airing of some categories. But, after outrage from industry insiders, they backtracked on that move and kept the full program of awards intact. That means that now the awards show will likely be lengthy. But, how long are the 2019 Oscars? Get your snacks ready and settle in, because it's going to be a pretty long night.
The 91st Academy Awards are set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, and telecast is slotted for three hours. That's a pretty long telecast, but chances are the show will actually be longer than three hours. Usually the show goes long and airs beyond its scheduled time slot. In fact, in 2002, the show ran a whopping four hours and 23 minutes. That was the longest show in Oscars history, so it's unlikely that this year's show will break that hefty record. But, it'll probably still be pretty long. Last year, the 2018 Oscars ran three hours and 53 minutes, so you might want to make sure your DVR is set for the show to go into overtime.
The Academy did make some efforts to try to trim the running time of the show. For instance, earlier in February, they announced that they planned to present the awards for cinematography, editing, makeup and hairstyling, and live action short during the commercial breaks. However, that decision was met with tons of backlash, particularly from cinephiles who saw the move as a big burn on many film industry professionals.
After film professionals and fans alike pushed back, the Academy went back to the original plan to broadcast all the categories. It wasn't the first time the Academy went back on a decision about this year's show. Originally, only two nominated songs were going to be performed this year: "Shallow" from A Star is Born and "All the Stars" from Black Panther. But, after many voiced their dismay at this decision, the Academy changed its tune. Now, all the nominated songs will be performed except for "All the Stars," and only because the song's artist, Kendrick Lamar, has scheduling conflicts. While the addition of more songs in the telecast means the show will be even longer, at least music performances are likely to mix things up between speeches with some lively entertainment.
Of course, the biggest controversy surrounding this year's Oscars is the host (or lack thereof). After Kevin Hart stepped down, the Academy made the bold decision not to have any host at all. Usually the host sets the tone for the show and is a crucial part of helping to move the telecast along when it's lagging during its slowest points. Since there won't be any host this year, there's a chance that the show could lose focus and go even longer because of that. But, most Oscar viewers aren't too worried about the lack of host. According to USA Today, 95 percent of 3,000 frequent moviegoers said they will watch the Oscars even though no one is hosting. The question is, though, will those viewers stay for the entirety of the over-three-hour-long show? Only time will tell.