Does the 2014 SAG Awards date hint at a January Academy Awards?

03.11.13 4 years ago 7 Comments

Every four years the Winter Olympics take a major bite out of the February Primetime television schedule as tens of millions of Americans cuddle up in front of the tube to watch bobsled racing, ski jumping and curling in hopes of U.S.A. taking home the gold.  It’s always been something of a pain for awards show schedulers, but beyond a late dater date for Oscar, everything usually worked itself out.  More recently, however, changing dates for the games have found major awards season players trying to find safe haven with a night or weekend all to themselves.  Throw in competition from the Super Bowl, Grammys and Sundance and the first two months of 2014 become something of a logistical nightmare. The first major awards extravaganza to put a stake in the ground?  The 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Truth be told, the usual bellwether for Oscar acting honors was expected to try and jump on the weekend of Jan. 17-19.  Saturday night seems a strange choice until you take a look in the history books.  As horrible a night it is for ratings, the choice of the 18th is actually similar to the show’s Saturday, Jan. 23 date in 2010.  TNT and TBS (who both simulcast the SAG Awards) will take their chances on Saturday in order to avoid the massive ratings of the NFL’s NFC and AFC championship games on Sunday, Jan. 19.

Looking at the calendar now, however, only the following are locked.

SAG Awards – Saturday, Jan. 18

Sundance Film Festival – Jan. 16 – 26

Super Bowl – Sunday, Feb. 2

Sochi 2014 Olympic Games – Friday, Feb. 7 – Sunday, Feb. 23

The big players left on the table are the Golden Globes, the Grammy Awards and the Academy Awards.  HitFix reached out to the Recording Academy on a possible Grammy date, but they are radio silent on rumors the show will broadcast two weeks earlier on Sunday, Jan. 26.  One would expect the Globes to slot Sunday, Jan. 12 as it corresponds to the same weekend they aired this year (Sun., Jan. 13).  More peculiar, however, is that in 2010, the last time the Winter Olympics were held, the HFPA and NBC aired the show on Sunday, Jan 17, one weekend later.  The Globes are broadcast by NBC though and there is no way they will go up against the NFL (it’s also ratings suicide). So, place your money on the 12th for the Globes.

As most awards observers know, there has been a constant threat from certain factions within the Academy to push the show earlier in the season.  The shortened nomination voting window and early nominations announcement this past year was seen as attempting to make the membership comfortable with such a change.  Why such a move?  Holding the Oscars in January would allow AMPAS to take back much of the season’s momentum that belongs to the Golden Globes after the new year and alleviate awards season fatigue (one of the reasons the show was moved from March to February in the first place).  Deadline’s Pete Hammond reported last week that there is no “appetite” among the board of governors to make this change and that they “can’t” do it. Of course, the entire industry was shocked last September revealed the nominations announcement would take place two weeks earlier than normal.  So, “can’t” seems relative at this point in AMPAS’ history.

Still, many expect the Oscars to be held in March on the first Sunday after the Olympic Games end just as they were in 2006 (March 5) and 2010 (March 7).  And yet, as just noted, the last five years have seen the Academy make some major moves and rule changes that would have been unthinkable a decade earlier.  Could a January Oscars be next?  Trumping the Grammys for the weekend of Jan. 26?  Perhaps this unconventional scenario…?

Golden Globes – Sunday, Jan. 12

SAG Awards – Saturday, Jan. 18

Sundance Film Festival – Jan. 16 – 26

Academy Awards – Sunday, Jan. 26

Super Bowl – Sunday, Feb. 2

Sochi 2014 Olympic Games – Friday, Feb. 7 – Sunday, Feb. 23

Grammy Awards –  Sunday, March 2

Of course, while its works scheduling wise the time frame leaves Academy members less than two weeks to vote for the final winners. Plus, ABC would miss out on having the Oscars in the lucrative February sweeps (wait, they will anyway if it’s in March…). 

Hmmm. Perhaps it’s not as crazy as it first sounds.

All dreaming aside, though, this will be the likely calendar of events…

Golden Globes – Sunday, Jan. 12

SAG Awards – Saturday, Jan. 18

Sundance Film Festival – Jan. 16 – 26

Grammy Awards – Sunday, Jan. 26

Super Bowl – Sunday, Feb. 2

Sochi 2014 Olympic Games – Friday, Feb. 7 – Sunday, Feb. 23

Academy Awards –  Sunday, March 2

Hint to the Academy.  If you do plan to send an earthquake through the awards season calendar you should let your friends at the Sundance Institute know sooner rather than later. Something tells me they might just push it back a week or two if that’s the case.  Just a thought.

What do you think?  Are the Academy Awards destined for March or could a January surprise be in the works?  Would it make the season better or worse?

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