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Academy Awards rebranded as 'The Oscars'

21 February 2013, 14:55

Los Angeles -They are the 85th Academy Awards, the climax of Hollywood's awards season, this coming weekend - except officially they're not. This year, they've been rebranded to "The Oscars".

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which organises Tinseltown's biggest awards, did not confirm the change revealed by show co-producer Neil Meron, who said "85th Academy Awards" was too "musty".

But it seems it's true, for this year at least: references to Academy Awards and that it's the 85th show - a significant anniversary, one might have thought - quietly disappeared from official AMPAS materials a few weeks ago.

Get-the-young-viewers ploy

"We're rebranding it," Meron told entertainment news website TheWrap in an interview with co-producer Craig Zadan this week, days before Hollywood's finest take to the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday.

"We're not calling it 'The 85th annual Academy Awards,' which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It's called 'The Oscars'," he said, adding that he believed the new approach would continue in years to come.

An AMPAS spokesperson declined to confirm the change, but said: "We use Academy Awards and the Oscars interchangeably. We'll begin considering next year's marketing campaign in the spring."

Last year's Oscars poster was quite clearly emblazoned with "The 84th Academy Awards". This year's shows a picture of smiling host Seth MacFarlane under "The Oscars", in gold.

The Oscars organizers are widely understood to be targeting a younger audience for their annual show - and Family Guy creator MacFarlane could be part of that strategy.

Two years ago a clear get-the-young-viewers ploy, with actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway jointly fronting the show, was widely criticised, with Franco's wooden performance drawing particular scorn.

Last year Eddie Murphy was initially set to host but pulled out at the last minute after an embarrassing gay slur row involving one of the producers, and the Academy fell back on veteran Billy Crystal, who hosted for a ninth time.

* The 2013 Oscars will be screened LIVE on M-Net Movies Premiere (DStv channel 103) on Monday at 03:30 (preceded by a red carpet countdown at 02:00) and rebroadcast on M-Net later on Monday at 20:30.



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