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Academy members received a reprieve of an extra 24 hours, but as of 5 PM PT voting for the 85th Academy Awards nominations is now officially over.
Approximately 5,000 or so members likely voted this year either using a somewhat complicated online system or by "requested" paper ballot. The deadline was over a week earlier than previous years causing some concern among Oscar consultants that enough members weren't able to get through their annual screener pile and/or didn't realize they had less time to submit their ballots than usual. Yikes.
The Academy will spend the next five days tabulating the votes (a process that has no doubt been ongoing). The nominees will then be announced bright and early at 8:30 AM ET, 5:30 AM PT on Thursday, Jan. 10. The winners will then be announced during this year's 85th Academy Awards on Feb. 24 on ABC.
There will be a lot of cranky complaining and ruckus about what went wrong with the new voting system, but it likely won't change the Academy Board of Governors intention on continuing to shorten what has become a very long and expensive voting season. They will drag the membership into the 21st Century if they have to and expect there will be some rough bumps along the road. If we're lucky, the Oscars might even be broadcast in January sometime soon.
In the meantime, studio publicists, consultants and potential nominees will fret about their chances. Are they in? Are they out? Did such and such movie have the right release date or marketing campaign? Should such and such actor or actress spent more time campaigning with members instead of vacationing in the Bahamas? Calm those nerves people. Not much you can do about it now.
Look for a rundown of who In Contention thinks is on the bubble on Sunday afternoon. In the meantime, how about the Clippers-Lakers game?