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COLOR THE OSCARS AN ANNUAL EVENT

Mar 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

By 1958, NBC and the academy had gotten into a routine for Oscar presentations.
The event was fully sponsored by the motion picture industry itself, and directed for NBC by Alan Handley from the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. With no commercials to get in the way, the business at hand was over 20 minutes before the second hour was up. Master of Ceremonies Jerry Lewis filled dead air for a few minutes. Just as he was getting warmed up, somebody pulled the plug and switched to a sports in review filler.
In 1960, the Oscars moved to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, where seating space was nearly doubled. That was also the year that the ABC Network won the contract for exclusive television and radio rights for the first time. A perennial third in a three-way ratings race in that era, ABC was looking for a high-profile event to help in its efforts to gain affiliates throughout the country.
In 1965, the Oscars were televised in color for the first time, but it wasn’t until 1967 that the academy stopped giving separate awards for movies shot in color and black and white.
NBC again took over the telecast in 1971 and kept it until 1976, when it went back to ABC, which has had it since.