Following four years of decline in terms of TV ratings, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has announced a series of change to make Oscars' night more accessible and streamlined.

A new category is being added to acknowledge "achievement in popular film", which is a clear nod towards ensuring that the odd blockbuster gets to pick up an Academy Award.

The Academy is also promising "a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast," which means that some Award categories traditionally presented on-air will instead be announced out during commercial breaks.

Those winning moments will then be edited down for air later in the broadcast.

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world," the Academy’s Board of Governors said in a statement quoted by Vanity Fair, adding that they "took this charge seriously."

The Shape of Water wins the Best Picture Award at the 2018 Oscars:

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The Academy's reason for adding 'popular' films is a hope that the new award will help attract more viewers. The most-watched telecast in Oscars history was in 1998 when the hugely popular Titanic won Best Picture.

Last year's telecast hit an all-time low in US TV ratings as it attracted just 26.5 million viewers, a drop of 20% from the previous year.

The dwindling viewing figures drew derision from US President Donald Trump, who tweeted in March: "Problem is, we don't have Stars anymore".

The 91st Academy Awards will be broadcast on Sunday, February 24, 2019, while the following year's ceremony will occur on Sunday, February 9, 2020.

As a consequence,the UK equivalent - the BAFTA Film Awards - are likely to take place earlier in the year from 2020.

A spokeswoman for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts said: "AMPAS made us aware of the decision to move their ceremony earlier in 2020.

"We are now looking at the timeline for the British Academy Film Awards, and will consult with the industry, before announcing our date for 2020.

"Our intention will be to stay ahead of the Oscars, as we have been since 2001."