Oscar poster

AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock

Hillary Clinton, John McCain or Barack Obama won't have to compete with Oscar. And vice versa.

Academy Award organizers have announced that traditional nomination Tuesday will, for 2009, become untraditional nomination Thursday.

The move was acknowledged as a nod to next year's presidential inauguration.

"It didn't make any sense for us to try to compete with [the inauguration] from a news point of view," Academy Executive Administrator Ric Robertson told the Associated Press.

And so next year the inauguration, ordered by no less than the U.S. Constitution to be held on Jan. 20, will command the spotlight on Jan. 20, a Tuesday, while the Oscars will issues its wakeup calls on Jan. 22, a Thursday.

As announced Monday, other key dates for next year's Academy Awards will be unchanged from many of those leading up to last February's ceremony: Nomination ballots will be mailed the day after Christmas; voting on the nominations will close Jan. 12; and, the decisive Oscar polls will close 20 days after the final ballots are mailed.

Aside from die-hard Oscar buffs, about the only people who will probably notice alterations to the Oscar calendar will be the producers of next year's show. With the nominations pushed back to a Thursday, telecast writers will lose two days of prep time for coming up with monologue jokes about the top contenders, presumably forcing them to rely even more on fall-back jabs about perennial front-row occupant Jack Nicholson.

The 81st annual Academy Awards are scheduled for Feb. 22.

There's no word yet on a host, and nothing but blog buzz on what the makeup of the Best Picture field will look like.

As for the inauguration, the role of President remains uncast.

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