Oscar dates say hail to the chief

AMPAS bumps noms to avoid inauguration overlap

Whoever is sworn in as the next president of the United States on Jan. 20 won't have to worry about being upstaged by Oscar.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which traditionally announces its nominations on a Tuesday in mid-January, has made one alteration to its schedule for the 81st Annual Academy Awards to avoid a media showdown with the presidential inauguration.

The Academy's key awards dates for 2009, announced Monday, follow the December-February template the Academy basically has followed since moving the Oscar ceremony from March to February in 2004. But the Academy will make one departure from tradition: Instead of announcing nominees Jan. 20, which also happens to be Inauguration Day, the 2009 nominations will be announced two days later on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 5:30 a.m. PST.

From there, the Academy schedule moves into high gear because there will be just one month until the ceremony takes place on Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland.

The next Oscar cycle kicks off Dec. 1, when credit forms are due.