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“The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards delivered the show’s highest ratings since 2004 and the biggest year-over-year increase in more than 20 years. We have every intention of keeping that momentum going.”

THE BEST SURPRISE IS NO SURPRISE: GRAMMYS STAYING PUT

Academy Moves Date Back to Mid-February, Extends Eligibility Period to Sept. 30

The Recording Academy has chosen a site for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, and the winner is… Los Angeles.

Yup, the annual ritual will once again go down at Staples Center next year, and the selected date will once again be in mid-February—specifically, Sunday, Feb. 13. The date was pushed forward by two weeks for this year’s event so that the telecast—which has been on CBS for decades—wouldn’t have to go head-to-head with NBC’s prime-time coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Consequently, the eligibility period will begin on Sept. 1 of last year and run through Sept. 30, 2010. Math whizzes reading this have probably already figured out that those dates are 13 months apart, not 12. This adjustment was made to get the period back on track after cutting it off a month early this year for the reason just stated above.

The date for the Grammy nominations announcement will be announced shortly. No word yet whether there’ll be another 60-minute prime-time telecast of the key nominations in early December, as there have been the last two years.

Said Neil Portnow in making the not particularly surprising announcement: “The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards was a dynamic, memorable evening, and it delivered the show’s highest ratings since 2004 and the biggest year-over-year increase in more than 20 years. We have every intention of keeping that momentum going with our 53rd show, and once again we are thrilled to be bringing the excellence and excitement of our Grammy Week events and charitable initiatives to the city of Los Angeles. We also look forward to working on another outstanding Grammy telecast with our partners and good friends at CBS and Staples Center."

Added CBS EVP of Specials, Music and Live Events Jack Sussman: "The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards will once again be event television with exciting and memorable performances that will entertain and engage our audience. We look forward to working with our partners at the Recording Academy to make Music's Biggest Night, an event that can't be missed."

Hey, Neil and Jack, how about wising up, like the Oscar brass have done, and air the show live on the West Coast? The 5 p.m. Sunday start hasn’t hurt their ratings.

And now, let the Grammy-nom handicapping begin…

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