Gary Susman
December 17, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

For a couple years now, the Oscars have thrown their weight around as the biggest event on the entertainment calendar; when the Academy announced two years ago that it would try moving the ceremony a month forward to the end of February, every other winter awards show, including the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and the American Music Awards, scrambled to get out of Oscar’s way and moved forward as well. But it turns out there’s one broadcast even bigger than the Academy Awards: the Winter Olympics. In the looming showdown between the Oscars and the closing ceremony of the next Olympics, which had both been scheduled to air on Feb. 26, 2006, the Academy blinked first. It announced on Thursday that the awards show will move from its ”natural” date of Feb. 26 to the following Sunday, March 5. ”It didn’t seem fair to make viewers have to choose between these two special events,” Academy president Frank Pierson said in a statement. Still, he added, the Academy has been pleased with the move to February, which has helped keep other awards shows from stealing Oscar’s thunder by shortening the awards season, and which has helped the Oscars reap the benefit of February sweeps-month promotional efforts on ABC. So it’ll be back to late February in 2007.

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