Responding to this year’s Oscar win by the ESPN miniseries “O.J.: Made in America,” which appeared in limited theatrical release to qualify for the prize, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that multi-part or limited series will no longer be eligible in the Oscar documentary categories.

O.J. Simpson. Image via

“O.J.: Made in America,” recounting the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, ran on ESPN as a five-part miniseries, but it was also screened at a film festival and in limited release at theaters in New York and Los Angeles — long enough to qualify for Oscar consideration for best documentary feature.

Under the rule change announced Friday, such productions “are not eligible for awards consideration,” with the executive committee of the Academy’s Documentary Branch having final say on a production’s eligibility.

With a run time of more than seven hours, “O.J.: Made in America” was the longest film to ever win an Oscar.

The real O.J. Simpson, now 69, is still locked up in Nevada serving a 33-year robbery sentence, although he’ll be eligible for parole this year.

In another rule change announced Friday, nomination voting in the animated feature category will be opened to the entire eligible voting membership of the Academy, and voting in the nominations round for the category “will now be preferential instead of based on a numerical scoring system.”

In the best picture category, meanwhile, the Academy will now allow “a bona fide team of not more than two people” to be considered as a single producer. The original score category will allow three or more “equally contributing composers” on a film to be considered as a group for nomination, but if they win, the group will receive a single Oscar statuette.

— City News Service

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