If you remember anything about the 1989 Oscars, it's likely because of a truly insane opening number that featured Snow White and Rob Lowe singing a parody version of "Proud Mary." (Also, if you remember anything about the 1989 Oscars, congratulations: You're officially too old to ever get a handle on TikTok.) The reason it happened? The ceremony went without a host that year—a rarity that's about to repeat itself.
Yes, thanks in large part to Kevin Hart's truly staggering inability to apologize for views he claims to have left in the past, Sunday's 91st Annual Academy Awards are host-less for the first time in 30 years. That might actually work in favor for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has grappled with a precipitous viewership decline over the past five years (from 43.7 million in 2014 to 26.5 million last year). The Academy has already tried and failed, twice, to make this year's telecast shorter and more appealing—a Popular Film category and booting a handful of awards to commercial break were both announced, then ultimately canceled—leaving morbid curiosity its most compelling draw.
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That's not to say there's nothing to tune in for. Among Black Panther 's seven nominations is one for Best Picture, the first for a comic-book movie. (With Disney owning both Marvel and telecast network ABC, rumors abound of a supersized Avengers cameofest during the show.) Roma represents Netflix's best bet yet at snagging an "above-the-line" Oscar; five of its 10 nominations fit into that prestige designation. In fact, all three major streaming platforms garnered nominations for the first time; for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon all to win would mark a seismic shift in the movie industry. Even failing all that, there's still always a chance for an "Adele Dazeem" moment .
But you won't know any of this if you don't watch—not to mention you won't get to see a stage that looks unsettlingly like a certain presidential hairdo —so here's how to do just that.
How to Watch
The awards ceremony begins at 8 pm Eastern (5 pm Pacific). If you're a cable subscriber or have a digital antenna, ABC is readily available. The ceremony will also be livestreamed at ABC.com or through the ABC app on various Roku- and Amazon Fire-like platforms—though only, it appears, in a handful of markets. (Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco, to be exact. Why? Couldn't tell you. But hey, congrats to Fresno!)
The same some-but-not-all approach applies to DirecTV: Apparently, only 13 markets—Albuquerque, Boston, Ft. Smith/Fayetteville, Jackson (Mississippi), Kansas City, Milwaukee, Monterey-Salinas, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Portland-Auburn (Maine), Savannah, and West Palm Beach—are providing the livestream.
Over-the-toppers, you've got a gang of options: Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue all include ABC in their offerings, depending on where you live . If you ride with Philo , Sling TV , or Fubo , though, you're out of luck.
Not so much into the human side of film? Maybe dense-mesh accurate animated facial geometry capture is more your thing, or even efficient, sequence-based paint and rotoscoping toolsets . You're in luck! The technical Oscars—or the Sci-Tech Awards, as the Academy now calls them—happened earlier this month, but the winners' acceptance speeches from the David Oyelowo-hosted event are available on YouTube .
Roll Out the Red Carpet
The sartorial dog and pony show kicks off live on ABC at 6:30 pm Eastern (3:30 pm Pacific), though Oscars All Access: Red Carpet Live will also be livestreamed exclusively on Twitter, via the Academy's official account . If you just can't wait that long, E! starts its own coverage at 5 pm Eastern (2 pm Pacific); in fact, the network begins its awards coverage at 1pm Eastern, though we can only imagine that those four hours will largely be spent re-training the on-screen chyrons not to autocorrect "Yorgos Lanthimos" to "Yoga Lachrymose."
Oscars: The Grouches
To its credit, the Academy has done a solid job producing Instagram Stories around pre-Oscar events like the nominations announcement and nominee luncheon , and will likely leverage its privileged access into good supplemental coverage of both the red carpet and the ceremony itself.
But if you're looking for truly peerless fashion analysis and film criticism to sustain you throughout Oscar Sunday, your best bet is that vast collection of good-natured and well-informed people on the internet. Gaffes, snafs, snubs, flubs, trips, slips, best boys, and key grips—anyone who's not otherwise occupied recapping Young Sheldon will surely be contributing to the outsourceapalooza known as the meme economy, thus ensuring that your Monday-morning reading will be dominated by warmed-over hot takes and breathless collections of 23 Lewks That Had Us Ready to Drop It Sha-Ha-Sha-La-La-La-Low . Hooray for Hollywood!
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