February 2, 2010 |
Maybe the world was craving an Elton John-Lady Gaga duet. Or perhaps a Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic routine from a nearly naked Pink. Or it could be that viewers just like hearing bleeped rap songs. Whatever the case, the 35% ratings surge for Sunday's Grammy extravaganza on CBS -- nearly 26 million viewers, or about as many as for Fox's singing smash "American Idol," according to early results from the Nielsen Co. -- has the TV business asking: Are award shows staging a comeback?
January 17, 2010 |
In seven weeks, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be hosting its biggest Oscar ceremony in nearly 70 years -- at least as measured by the number of best picture nominees. When Sid Ganis, then-president of the academy, announced the decision to double the best picture field from five to 10, he said deserving films had been "squeezed" out of the race and, besides, back in the 1930s and 1940s, having 10 best picture nominees was the norm. (This was somewhat disingenuous: Studios released a movie a week then and barely one a month now, so the universe of films used to be much, much larger.
November 15, 2009 |
Tom Sherak never forgets that movies are for the masses. The veteran marketer turned new president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences started in showbiz driving around states like Maryland and West Virginia, persuading ordinary people to book such Paramount movies as "The Godfather" and "Love Story" into their small-town movie houses. "They were all real people, postal workers or sanitation workers who also owned the one theater in town. I'd go and meet them at their lunch hour and tell them about the movies."
June 25, 2009 |
In January, all of Hollywood wondered exactly how close "The Dark Knight" came to earning an Oscar nomination for best picture. Now we know the answer: It missed by 12 months. If the "The Dark Knight" had been released this summer instead of last, it would have been part of the new Academy Awards era that began Wednesday with the out-of-the-blue announcement that the best picture category at the Oscars will double in size to 10 films.
June 25, 2009 |
I never thought I'd be caught dead using the words "bold" and "innovative" in the same sentence with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but that's what any Oscar fan would have to call the academy's eye-popping decision to expand its best picture nominee list from five to 10 pictures. All I can say is "Bravo!"
February 21, 2009 |
Perhaps the most conspicuous people onstage during the Oscar telecast -- those graceful creatures once known as "trophy girls" -- are also the most forgettable, gliding around like sophisticated stage props. This year, though, Oscar telecast producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon are going for something with more possibilities, deliberately casting experienced actors -- and one model -- as trophy presenters to bring a little more personality to the job.
March 1, 2008
I read with great interest Patrick Goldstein's article about modernizing and streamlining the Oscar telecast ["Note to Oscars: Get Real," Feb. 27], but frankly, I don't think the conservative academy will go along with a separate award show for the technical nominations. It would come across like a crass snub, pandering to the mass audience. Moreover, many of these technicians are vital to the commercial success of a film.
February 27, 2008 |
IT'S now painfully obvious that the Oscars need what nearly every aging star in Hollywood has already had -- a face-lift. The ratings for the show couldn't have been any worse if they'd been stuck with all of Jay Leno's strike-show guests instead of Jon Stewart and Co. The numbers hit rock bottom, down a million viewers from 2003, the show's previous low ebb, and that was right after a war started.
February 22, 2008 |
THE U.S. presidency has been called a bully pulpit, but it doesn't come close to the winner's circle at any year's Oscars. An address from the Oval Office usually scores ratings in the single digits. But an Oscar telecast is seen by tens of millions of people around the world in mansions and in yurts.
February 24, 2007 |
On a night when actresses will be draped in diamonds, Amnesty International USA and Global Witness have asked artists and filmmakers to wear a red teardrop pin to the Academy Awards to raise awareness about diamonds mined in war zones and their effect on child soldiers. The groups said that Oscar nominees Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling and Djimon Hounsou and other members of the "Blood Diamond" cast would be wearing the symbols.