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Spirit Awards return to Saturday afternoon and Santa Monica

October 26, 2010 | 11:37 am

After a move to downtown Los Angeles last year, the Spirit Awards are heading back to the beach in Santa Monica.

As previously announced, the Oscar-weekend ceremony also will return to Saturday afternoon (Feb. 26) instead of the Friday-night slot it occupied last year. 

Film Independent, the group that administers the awards, had made the switch to Friday night -- which saw the awards held in a cavernous space on the event deck at L.A. Live -- to breathe new life into the event. "If the show is the same every year, we risk it becoming rote," Film Independent chief Dawn Hudson told 24 Frames last year. But although attendance was high, the show faced backlash from some in the industry over both the space and the timing, with other industry parties competing for mindshare on Friday night.

The Friday move also gave the Spirits a live prime-time airing on IFC. This year, the Spirits will air on Saturday night on IFC, but there will be no live simulcast, as there has been in the past. The show will be tape delayed until 10 p.m. on both coasts. There will be no condensed airing on AMC, as there has been for past Saturday broadcasts.

This year's show will be produced by Dick Clark Productions, which had that role last year, and executive produced by MTV awards show veteran Audrey Morrissey. Morrissey was behind the 2010 MTV Movie Awards and the 2010 People’s Choice Awards.

The Los Angeles Film Festival, which this year moved to various locations in downtown L.A., is unlikely to move back to the Westside: It's entering the second year of a three-year deal.

-- Steven Zeitchik