Ahead of next year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscars have changed the rules for Best Original Song, so that there must always be five nominees – as opposed to last year’s two. We say it’s about time. They’ve also renamed one of the production categories. Read on for more.

Last year, the song “Man or Muppet” won the Oscar for Best Original Song, but you’ve got to admit, the competition wasn’t really that steep, with only one other nominee to beat. This was because of some odd rule mentioned by /Film. The rule stated that there could be between two and five nominees for that category.

Thankfully, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has realized the rule is limiting, and have amended it to require five songs to be nominated for that category. Whether or not they’ll also be performed at the show is something the new producers are considering.

Deadline posted the following press release with the news about the rule change:

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has approved additional rules for the 85th Academy Awards. The most significant changes affect the Original Song category, in which there will now be five nominees.

During the nominations process, all voting members of the Music Branch will receive a Reminder List of works submitted in the category and a DVD copy of the song clips. Members will be asked to watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.

And that’s not the only change; the Art Direction Award is now called the Production Design Award. That one sounds about right, too – why did it take them so long?

As for the Best Song rule change, the Oscars are about attracting viewers more than the awards themselves, which is why the Academy went to ten Best Picture Nominees, according to /Film.

And the task of producing the Oscars this year falls to Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have strong musical theater ties. In fact, they’ve already suggested in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that they would bring back the musical numbers this year but said it was too early to say for sure.

The 85th Annual Academy Awards will take place in Hollywood, CA on February 24, 2013.

What do you think – was this a good move from the Academy?