The 27th Brit Awards is getting the TV-blockbuster treatment next year when it is aired live for the first time in nearly 20 years on Feb. 14.

The 27th Brit Awards is getting the TV-blockbuster treatment next year when it is aired live for the first time in nearly 20 years on Feb. 14.

Taking place at London's Earls Court, the event will be broadcast by ITV, the biggest U.K. commercial TV network.

The televised event represents the first time the gala has been broadcast live since the notorious 1989 show co-hosted by model Samantha Fox and veteran artist Mick Fleetwood, when everything that could go wrong did, such as fluffed lines and long-silences during the airtime.

In addition to the live coverage, there will be an additional five hours of preview programming devoted to the event in the days leading up to the ceremony. The previews will be aired on both the ITV1 and ITV2 channels.

Analysts said the boost in TV coverage aims to hike the number of viewers who tune into the event, which has seen ratings gradually decline in recent years.

Additionally, the 2007 Brit Awards will be handing out trophies in 13 categories, including the best British and international male and female artists, group, album, breakthrough acts.

But three standard genre categories, best British rock, urban and pop acts, will be dropped from 2007.

Nick Phillips, the Brits co-chairman, explained: "The significant thing about the current upturn in British talent is that it is happening in every genre. British music is displaying a strength in depth and breadth we haven't enjoyed in at least a decade."

The awards, selected by the Brits Committee of leading music and media industry executives, will celebrate a growing British music business that has seen debut albums accounting for 17%-plus sales jump during the first half of this year, according to figures compiled by the Official U.K. Charts Co.

Proceeds from the Brits will continue to go to the Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology, and the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, the beneficiaries of the Brit Trust charity.

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