So how much time would the Oscars have saved if it had cut those four categories?

Bette Midler
Bette Midler performs “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from the film “Mary Poppins Returns” at the 2019 Academy Awards.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision/Associated Press)

Despite the academy’s best efforts to trim it, the 2019 Oscars telecast Sunday clocked in at around three hours and 17 minutes.

After deciding to move forward with a hostless ceremony for the first time in 30 years, the academy attempted to make a number of moves to keep the length of the broadcast close to the allotted three hours.

This included the proposal to have the awards for four categories presented during commercial breaks, as well as plans to reportedly include performances of only two of the five nominated songs during the show. Both ideas were rescinded after immediate public outcry.

Broadcasting the full presentation of the awards for cinematography, hair and makeup, film editing and live-action short — as well as the introductions and performances for the three other nominated songs — added more than 21 minutes to the show’s run time.


FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2019 »

Had the segments for those four categories been trimmed to just the winners’ speeches, the telecast could have cut around six minutes and 20 seconds. (The four speeches ran for just more than five minutes total.) The three song performances clocked in around nine and a half minutes total.

The introduction of the nominees and the winner’s walk to the stage took around one minute and 22 seconds for makeup and hairstyling, one minute and 48 seconds for cinematography, one and a half minutes for film editing and one minute and 40 seconds for live-action short.

Jennifer Hudson’s performance of “I’ll Fight” and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ duet of “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” each clocked in around three minutes (including the introductions), while Bette Midler’s “The Place Where Lost Things Go” ran closer to three and a half minutes.


2019 OSCARS: See the full list of nominees »

Twitter: @tracycbrown

Get our weekly Indie Focus newsletter