OSCAR CEREMONY TONED DOWN FOR WAR

Red Carpet Arrivals Eliminated; Postponement Still Possible

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LOS ANGELES (Adage.com) -- With war about to break out between the U.S. and Iraq, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to tone down parts of its Oscar ceremony, The 75th Anniversary
The Oscar ceremonies will be subdued and could still be postponed by war coverage.
Academy Awards,
here. The ceremony is schedule to air Sunday on ABC.

No red carpet
Gone is the" red carpet" procession, where celebrities arrive by limousine and are interviewed by entertainment journalists prior to entering the event, Gil Cates, producer of the high-profile ABC network TV show, said during a press conference today. The "red carpet" entrance occurs during the half-hour "pre-show" broadcast.

"We wanted to make the [ceremony] more appropriate to the times," Mr. Cates said. Interviews, however, will take place in an area inside the Kodak Theater, where the ceremonies will be held.

War coverage impact uncertain
Concerning whether the show might be postponed, Frank Pierson, the Academy president, said, "We are not going to address that question now." Still, both executives noted ABC might need to adjust to war coverage from ABC News should events take place.

"If you were a betting man, the show will be on Sunday," Mr. Cates said.

Proper dress inquiries
He said many celebrities had called to ask whether they could enter by a "back door." Other questions included what should be the proper tone of dress for the ceremony.

As for TV program itself, ABC has said commercial advertising time made by marketers are now firm "orders." That means advertisers can't ask the network for its money back.

Paid advertising
Estimates are that advertisers paid between $1.3 million and $1.4 million for a 30-second commercial spot in the Oscar broadcast. According to one advertising executive close to the company, no advertiser has asked out of the broadcast.

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