When was the Oscars first televised? Date film awards started - and when first ceremony was on TV explained

The Oscars is the most prestigious awards ceremony in the film world

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The Oscars will return in the early hours of Monday morning, with the critically adored but generally non-crowd pleasing The Power of the Dog expecting to clean up at the ceremony.

The Academy Awards, known as the Oscars have been presented to film cast and crew for almost a century.

The awards recognise excellence in the movie industry, from acting and directing to sound editing and makeup.

But when were the awards first televised? Here’s everything you need to know about the history of the Oscars.

Where did the name ‘The Oscars’ come from?

No-one knows for sure where the nickname came from, though it’s clear that the term ‘Oscars’ wasn’t used for the first several ceremonies.

The legend goes that around 1931 Academy Award librarian Margaret Herrick mentioned that the golden statuette reminded her of her uncle Oscar, and the nickname stuck.

Herrick would go on to become Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

When was the first Oscars held?

The Academy Awards were founded during a pivotal time in film history - The Jazz Singer, the first ever ‘talkie’, ended the silent film era almost overnight.

Cinema admissions were at an all-time high, with most people attending weekly. Innovations in special effects were continuing at a pace, and new genres were being explored.

The first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

Silent movie legend Douglas Fairbanks hosted the first ceremony which lasted just 15 minutes.

Wings, a silent First World War drama, won Outstanding Picture, a precursor to the Best Picture award.

Back then, the ceremony was a private affair. There were no goody bags, and there were only 12 awards to give out - half the number that will be awarded this year.

Silent war film Wings was the first film to win the Oscar for Outstanding Picture Silent war film Wings was the first film to win the Oscar for Outstanding Picture
Silent war film Wings was the first film to win the Oscar for Outstanding Picture

When was The Oscars first televised?

The first Oscars ceremony to be on TV was the 25th Awards in 1953, held at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Comedian Bob Hope hosted the show, which had become more glamorous in the decades since the first ceremony.

Bob Hope hosted the first televised Oscars ceremony in 1953.Bob Hope hosted the first televised Oscars ceremony in 1953.
Bob Hope hosted the first televised Oscars ceremony in 1953.

That year’s Best Picture winner was The Greatest Show on Earth, about life in the circus, which is now generally considered to be one of the worst films to take the award.

Silver screen greats were among the winners that year, with John Ford winning Best Director for The Quiet Man.

This made Ford a record-holder for the most Best Director wins, having previously won for The Informer, Grapes of Wrath, and How Green Was My Valley.

Gary Cooper took the Best Actor award for his role as a town Marshall in the western High Noon, and Shirley Booth won Best Actress for her role in the drama Come Back, Little Sheba.

When is The Oscars 2022 on TV?

Film buffs that want to watch the ceremony live will be in for a long night, as the awards show doesn’t start until 1am on 28 March.

And unlike the first quarter of an hour-long ceremony back in 1929, the 94th Academy Awards is expected to last three hours.

The full ceremony can be watched in the UK on Sky TV channel  Sky Cinema Oscars, for which you will need to be signed up to Sky TV.

The coverage can be watched online on NOW with a NOW TV Sky Cinema pass, or a NOW seven-day free trial.

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