Sensible Ways to Cut Time at Awards Shows

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The Oscar folks have shortened the show somewhat over the last few years, by dumping the dancing, limiting the extra movie tributes, and shortening presenter banter. They tried a few new things this year, but there's still more they could do.

Don't have the MC introduce every presenter. The Independent Film Awards handled this very well, and, frankly, I'd like to see Samuel L. Jackson host the Oscars some day.

Use single presenters rather than two.

Let one presenter give out multiple awards (Sound Mixing/Sound Editing, for example). I think this was a common practice a few years ago.

Keep the "extra" stuff short. Chris Rock's monologue, the opening movie montage and the In Memorian section were just about right, but the bit on bad taste in movies at the movie theater ran a bit long.

Let the winners talk a little. Some of them were shut up way too fast. Give them a one minute limit rather than a 30 second limit.

Charge more for commercials so there will be fewer commercials. Commercials are a much bigger time-waster than acceptance speeches. Besides, there is now a truly outrageous amount of product placement around the Oscars, so, in a way, the commercials are meaningless.

The onstage presentation worked better than I expected, but the audience presentation of a few awards was just a joke.