The 81st Academy Awards today wins its first live broadcast in Australia. It screens live at 12:30pm on both Nine and Movie Extra.
An evening repeat can also be seen at 9:30pm on Nine, but with one hour less (so think about recording the daytime version if you’re at work!). Movie Extra repeats it all at 12am Tuesday with another 90min highlights version at 4pm on Wednesday.
For red carpet action Nine will broadcast the Today show from LA, plus crosses during Mornings with Kerri-Anne (although on Friday she apparently got excited about “pre-Logies” crosses). A full half hour special airs from 12pm to 12:30pm hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson.
On pay television there is red carpet action on Movie Extra, Arena and E! beginning at 10am.
Nine’s shift of the Oscars to daytime is something of a win / win. Award ceremonies rarely draw bumper audiences, and are always long affairs. Last year it averaged 934,000 viewers. The one downside of Nine’s telecast is it won’t be in high-definition.
Screening the event live and on-selling rights to pay television still allows the network to move the evening session to a later timeslot without attracting criticism. Instead Nine can screen both Underbelly and the Oscars.
Filmmakers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark have taken charge of the ceremony and are keeping very quiet on who is presenting. Some stars have reportedly been asked to avoid the red carper just to keep an element of surprise. Hugh Jackman reckons the staging is also different, like “a giant nightlcub of your dreams.”
He will also show off his singing and dancing skills in a number staged by Baz Lurhmann. While Heath Ledger is destined to win Best Supporting Actor, there are also three other Aussies nominated for Australia (Costume), The Dark Knight (Editing) and Iron Man (Special FX).
Slumdog Millionaire, which stars former Skins actor Dev Patel, is the hot favourite for Best Picture.