Who the Hell is Driving Oscar’s Boat?? – We Are Movie Geeks

Academy Awards

Who the Hell is Driving Oscar’s Boat??

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Seems like some of the Oscar pundits are in a dither over AMPAS President Tom Sherak’s delay in announcing a Producer and Host for the 82nd Academy Awards…ON MARCH 7TH…. months away!! What’s the rush?

This week’s Entertainment Weekly has a brief article titled “Where’s the new Oscar Producer?” It claims that many in Hollywood don’t want the thankless, time consuming job. Just think about the logistics that went into last year’s new concept of securing five former best actors/actress winners to come on stage to present the new recipient into the club. It was a brilliant touch, I might add.

However, others also wonder what the hold up is with finding a producer and host.

Nikki Finke over at Deadline Hollywood Daily wrote on Friday that AMPAS would love to be able to announce the producer and host at the same time, but that last year’s host, Hugh Jackman, was being advised by those close to him to NOT accept the gig again if asked.

Gregory Ellwood’s “Inside Awards Season” article over at HitFix, while wanting to see someone new at the Kodak Theatre this year, ponders “Could Billy Crystal return as Academy Awards Host?” He mentions that the “8-time host wants another go at it.”


Billy Crystal? Really? And the last time he was relevant was when? No one in the all-important demographic that the Academy is looking for will truthfully know who he is, I don’t care if he and Sherak do have past history.

Even TOH’s Anne Thompson admits “Picking a producer for the Oscar telecast is the first big project facing any incoming Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president like Tom Sherak. But the process can’t start before he’s elected. And the new president is still learning the ropes.”

While all the articles raise some valid points and concerns, I’ll give AMPAS and its new president, Tom Sherak, the benefit of the doubt. I’ll grant you, it appears that they may be behind in choosing new producers…last year’s, Condon and Mark, were announced on Sept.24. The upcoming 82nd Academy Awards airs after the Olympics on March 7, 2010, so AMPAS has some time. The EW article quotes Academy’s publicist Leslie Unger as saying, “I don’t know when we’ll have a producer but we’re not in panic mode.”

If it seems that I’m stumping for the Academy – I am. I watch the race year nauseum some would say. I read Awards Daily, Thompson On Hollywood, and In Contention faithfully. After all the guff AMPAS received from the Best Picture category change, can you blame them? I’d take plenty of time and not be in such a rush because Hollywood dictates it. I too have raised an eyebrow with some of their changes, most notably the removal of the Governor Awards recipients from the actual Oscar broadcast, but not enough to fall into the mob mentality demanding answers from Sherak. Second guessing of the Academy’s show is religiously done every blasted year, but when all the ranting is said and done, everyone comes back for the annual show.

Still, many are anxious for the all important announcement from Sherak. Fine. Seeing as they ARE looking for new producers for the big show and according to EW, no one in Hollywood wants the job, my Oscar partner in crime, Panda Hugger, and I have a few ideas.

First and foremost, put us in charge and let us act as the Oscar Producers’. Once you’ve stopped your chuckling there. here’s how’d we go at it:

  •  We won’t worry about the running time of the show because we know the die-hards will stay til the bitter end. People WILL watch in droves this year just to see how the 10 Best Picture Race turns out and don’t think they won’t.
  • We know historically the ratings have never been stellar. It’s a fact. The year that TITANIC won was a fluke. We’re not that concerned with the overnights and, ca’mon, the producing gig is usually a one year deal anyway.
  • We’d bring in the writers of Big Bang Theory. Have you watched the funniest comedy on tv lately? Earlier this year, Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre were given a multiyear renewal on their hilarious show. It’s time for old-school writers Bruce Villanch and Carrie Fisher to go.
  • If Jackman doesn’t return as host, we’d go with Neil Patrick Harris or Tina Fey. Possible letting Wanda Sikes have a go at it – Her recent HBO special was a riot.
  • We’d keep with the very Bob Mackie set that we previewed in February.

So if Academy President Tom Sherak is reading this, we’re ready to assume our producing duties for “THE BIGGEST MOVIE EVENT OF THE YEAR. You can contact us at We Are Movies Otherwise, we’ll patiently wait for your announcement in the next few weeks and won’t feel slighted, in the least bit, if we’re overlooked. Ok, maybe just a little.


Huge passion for film scores, lives for the Academy Awards, loves movie trailers. That is all.