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Preparing for the Oscars... Already

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A famous scene from Casablanca | Photo by udronotto via Flickr

Normally, the Academy Awards making the news this early in the Oscar-year calendar doesn't make sense. That is, until the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday in a press release the key dates for next year's show on Sunday, February 22nd. And after listing those dates (below if you care), the last sentence of the release mentioned why there was a slight change.

The dates are in keeping with those of recent years, since the presentation date was moved from March to February. However, one notable change for the 81st Awards is the move of the Nominations Announcement from the traditional Tuesday to a Thursday. The switch was made to avoid a conflict with the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.
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So there you go, they did it for Obama whoever the next president will be. For those who are hardcore, here are the key dates for the road to Oscar:

Monday, December 1, 2008: Official Screen Credits forms due
Friday, December 26, 2008: Nominations ballots mailed
Monday, January 12, 2009: Nominations polls close 5 p.m. PT
Thursday, January 22, 2009: Nominations announced 5:30 a.m. PT, Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Wednesday, January 28, 2009: Final ballots mailed
Monday, February 2, 2009: Nominees Luncheon
Saturday, February 7, 2009: Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards presentation
Tuesday, February 17, 2009: Final polls close 5 p.m. PT
Sunday, February 22, 2009: 81st Annual Academy Awards presentation