It’s been the longest awards season ever after the Academy decided to delay the 93rd Academy Awards from February to April because of the pandemic, but the big show is finally upon us. The 2021 Oscars ceremony begins at 8pm ET Sunday on ABC, broadcasting live from both Union Station and the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. ABC is extending its coverage of the 2021 Oscars with a pre-show beginning at 6:30pm ET (“Oscars: Into the Spotlight,” hosted by Ariana Debose and Lil Rel Howery) and a post-show airing after the Oscars ceremony (“Oscars: After Dark,” with Colman Domingo and Andrew Rannells).
All three programs — “Oscars: Into the Spotlight,” “The Oscars,” and “Oscars: After Dark” — will be available to watch live via ABC.COM and the ABC app, although you will have to provide a cable subscriber log-in in order to access the live stream. Viewers without cable can tune-in by subscribing to a variety of platforms that carry ABC, including Hulu + Live TV, YouTubeTV, AT&T TV, and FuboTV.
Roku users can also live stream the Oscars via ABC News Live on The Roku Channel. The Roku coverage via ABC News includes a red carpet broadcast (beginning at 4:30pm ET) and the awards ceremony (beginning at 8:00pm ET).
Also, follow along with the best looks on the red carpet here.
A heads up to anyone interested in watching the performances of this year’s Best Original Song contenders: These segments have been moved out of the main show and will be aired during the “Oscars: Into the Spotlight” pre-show. This year’s nominees for Best Original Song are “Io Si (Seen),” written by Diane Warren (“The Life Ahead,” Netflix); “Fight for You,” written by H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, Tiara Thomas (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” Warner Bros.); “Húsavík,” written by Savan Kotecha, Rickard Goransson, Fat Max Gsus (“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” Netflix); and “Hear My Voice,” written by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste (“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Netflix).
As reported by IndieWire’s Anne Thompson earlier this week, the Oscars ceremony will primarily be held at interiors and exteriors at Los Angeles’ iconic Union Station. Tony-winning production designer David Rockwell created the sets for the ceremony, first look photos from which can be viewed here. In addition to the Union Station location, the ceremony’s producers are also arranging 10-to-12 Oscar hubs around the world, starting in London and Paris, which will join via satellite feeds. There’s an eight-hour time difference between Los Angeles and the BFI Southbank in London, and nine hours for the Paris Canal+ studio and rooftop that will host about seven local nominees (and guests) representing Florian Zeller’s “The Father” and Darius Marder’s “Sound of Metal.”
The 93rd Academy Awards are being produced by first-time Oscar producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher, and Jesse Collins, all of whom worked together on Oscar winner “Erin Brockovich.” Per Anne Thompson’s report: “Their goal is to stage a Zoom-less affair packed (at a safe distance) with as many live human nominees and presenters (each allowed one guest) as possible.”
“This is the walking definition of trying to build an airplane while it’s in the air,” Soderbergh told press earlier this month about pulling off the broadcast. “I want the whole thing to announce itself out of the gate as different. It’s going to be wonderfully intense.”
In an unusual twist for the ceremony, the Oscars team is not asking guests to wear face masks during the show taking place at Union Station while on camera. That news was announced last Monday during a much-touted meeting between the Academy’s reps and nominees, as well as studio and personal publicists, about navigating the COVID safety protocols demanded of an event of this scale. When guests are not on camera, however, they are being asked to mask up, such as during commercial breaks.
The show is more or less being treated as a Los Angeles TV or film production, with the same level of protocol as on a movie set. Audience members, meanwhile, will be rotated in and out of the ceremony. Once arriving at Union Station, nominees will receive a personalized itinerary outlining when they are to be rotated in and out and where they need to be.
Soderbergh, during a press conference last weekend, said masks will play a “very important role in the story” of this year’s Oscars show. “If that’s cryptic, it’s meant to be,” he added. “That topic is very central to the narrative.”
The show has been teased as a kind of three-hour movie in which all the presenters and nominees play a role in advancing a narrative story. “Movie storytelling is so unique,” said Soderbergh. “We have the resources, through the stories the nominees are telling us, to tease out the detail of what makes movies so special, why we connect to them so strongly all over the world.”
The 2021 Oscar nominees are dominated by David Fincher’s “Mank,” which picked up 10 nominations. Several top contenders picked up six nominations: “Nomadland,” “The Father,” “Sound of Metal,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” With five nominations each are “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Promising Young Woman.” Searchlight-backed “Nomadland” is the favorite to win Best Picture and Best Director. Click here to read IndieWire’s final Oscar predictions for the 93rd Academy Awards.