The 17th Academy Awards marked the first time the complete awards ceremony was broadcast nationally, on the Blue Network. Bob Hope hosted the 70-minute broadcast, which included film clips that required explanation for the radio audience. This tradition ended abruptly after the 1948 ceremony as a result of the Paramount antitrust decrees, only to return gradually since the late 1960s.
This is the first year that the Best Picture category was limited to five pictures. This was also the first and only time an individual was nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for playing the same role in the same film: Barry Fitzgerald for the character of Father Fitzgibbon in Going My Way. He won for Best Supporting Actor.