The 88th Academy Awards are scheduled to air on Sunday, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern; the audience complaining about the Oscars being too long is unofficially scheduled to start at around 10 p.m.
Though the categories presented during the live telecast have remained relatively unchanged, the Oscars seem to run longer every year.
Part of the problem is the late start; the 86th Academy Awards in 2014 started at 8:30 p.m. and ran for 3 hours and 34 minutes. However, last year's ceremony started earlier at 8 p.m., but ran for 3 hours and 43 minutes. The record, however, is still the 74th Academy Awards in 2002, which ran for a leg-numbing 4 hours and 23 minutes — and past midnight.
Another problem is acceptance speeches by winners that run way too long. Fortunately, this year, the Academy has asked nominees for a list of people to thank, which will scroll at the bottom of the screen during the acceptance speech.
The myriad of performances also eat up time. Variety reports that two performances by nominees in the best original song category — "Manta Ray" performed by Antony Hegarty, from the documentary Racing Extinction, and "Simple Song #3" performed by South Korean singer Sumi Jo, from the film Youth — have already been cut from the telecast. The remaining three performances in the category are arguably higher profile: Lady Gaga's "Til It Happens to You" from the documentary The Hunting Ground, Sam Smith's "Writing's On The Wall" from Spectre and the Weeknd's Grammy Award-winning "Earned It" from Fifty Shades of Grey.
Hopefully these two changes will help alleviate the glacial pace that usually bogs down the experience of watching the Oscars.