Academy Awards pre-show

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The Academy Awards pre-show (currently known as Oscars Red Carpet Live) is a live televised pre-show which precedes the start of the Academy Awards telecast by 90 minutes (previously by 30 minutes until 2011). The pre-show takes place on the red carpet surrounding the theater which holds the telecast, and is almost always hosted by various media personalities, such as Regis Philbin, Chris Connelly, Tim Gunn, and Robin Roberts.

In February 2011, ABC announced that due to the ending of Barbara Walters' Oscar Special,[1] the pre-show would instead take place 90 (rather than 30) minutes before the start time of the Oscar telecast, beginning with the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony.


Beginning with the 1st Academy Awards, there were no Oscar pre-shows. Instead, photographers and interviewers would approach the ceremony's nominees and other attendees as usual. However, these events were neither televised nor heard on the radio prior to the ceremony. In 1979, Regis Philbin officially began the very first red carpet pre-show. However, this event was actually produced by KABC-TV, the ABC O&O station in Los Angeles, and was not broadcast elsewhere. Ten years later, in 1989, both MTV and Movie Time (which became E! a year later) began their red carpet pre-shows with focus on fashion. It would pass another decade, in 1999, when the AMPAS eventually produced its own red carpet pre-show to air on ABC. KABC-TV continues to produce its own pre- and post-show editions of its former entertainment program On the Red Carpet, which are syndicated to some ABC-owned stations and affiliates as a compliment to network coverage.

Although other broadcasters (including, as of 2015, CNN, E!, and Pop) may air their own red carpet coverage, ABC has an exclusive window during the final hour before the ceremony (4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT) during which no other broadcaster may broadcast live footage from the red carpet. This rule serves to protect ABC's official pre-show; to comply with this rule, most competing red carpet programs either sign off or use footage that was recorded earlier. Interviews by other media outlets may continue, but they may not air on television until the end of the window.[2]


The pre-show usually employs the use of recent TV or media personalities as the hosts, who interview the nominees and attendees and sometimes introduce special segments in the moments preceding the ceremony. Below is a listing of the hosts of the pre-show since the 74th Academy Awards ceremony held in 2002.


The title has changed throughout the years. Most recently, from the 75th Academy Awards until the 78th Academy Awards, the pre-show was titled "Oscar Countdown". The following year, at the 79th Academy Awards, it was titled "Road to the Oscars". At the 80th Academy Awards, 81st Academy Awards, and 82nd Academy Awards, the pre-show was titled "Oscars Red Carpet". Each title used throughout the years has featured the year of the ceremony with it. Since the 83rd Academy Awards, the pre-show has been titled The Oscars Red Carpet Live.

TV Ratings[edit]

  • 1990: [Barbara Walters Special: 28.5 million; 8pm]
  • 2002: 26 million (8pm) [Barbara Walters Special: 17 million; 7pm]
  • Oscar Countdown 2003 (March): 19.5 (7:30pm) [ABC News Special: 11.4 million; 7pm]
  • Oscar Countdown 2004: 17.3 rating (8pm) [Barbara Walters Special: 8.9 rating; 7pm]
  • Oscar Countdown 2005: 27.7 million viewers (8pm)
  • 2007: 27.1 million (8pm) [Barbara Walters Special: 14.5 million; 7pm]
  • 2008: 21.5 million (8pm) [Barbara Walters Special: 11.7 million; 7pm]
  • 2009: 24.4 million (8pm) [Barbara Walters Special: 11.5 million; 7pm]
  • 2010 (March): 25.3 million (8pm) [Barbara Walters Special: 15 million; 7pm] [1]
  • 2011: 26.605 million (8pm) [2]
  • 2012: 12.6 (7pm); 16.6 million (7:30pm); 24.1 million (8pm) [3] [4]
  • 2013: 12.4 million (7pm); 16.5 million (7:30pm); 25.5 million (8pm) [5]
  • 2014 (March): 14.8 million (7pm); 18.7 million (7:30pm); 26.9 million (8pm) [6]
  • 2015: 12.94 million (7pm); 16.93 million (7:30pm); 23.81 million (8pm) [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The quirky Oscars red carpet rule that helps ABC". CNNMoney. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Robin Roberts, Tim Gunn to Host ABC's Oscar Pre-Show". ABC News. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
  4. ^ Oscar Insider (February 13, 2012). "Oscars® Pre-Show Team Comes Together!". AMPAS. Retrieved 19 February 2012.