According to the overnight ratings, this was the lowest rated Oscarcast in history. When AMERICAN IDOL has Barry Manilow night they almost beat it.
So now comes the blame game. I don’t want to hear the producers say the show was never promoted. Or the problem was the absence of Joan Rivers.
Or the Writers Strike. It doesn't take four months to write, "He's an internationally known actor or a auto dealership, here's Harrison Ford."
Jon Stewart will doubtless take a hit. But it’s not entirely his fault. You’d think Hollywood would know. You get a big star to fill a big starring role. Rainn Wilson is very talented but I wouldn’t cast him as Michael Clayton.
I say get Martin Scorsese to host. He’s a God in the industry, reveres movies, the camera just loves him, and he talks so fast the show might actually get off on time for once. You can’t claim this is Hollywood’s most prestigious event and expect a late night cable pundit or daytime talk show host to carry it off. Get Scorsese. Promise a recount on RAGING BULL if you have to.
And people want to see stars. Real stars. Not Disney Channel stars. Not World Federation Wrestling stars. Not reality show stars. When they start showing faces in the crowd and you have to go “Who is that?” more than twice – CLICK!
And whoever the host is, play to us, the audience, not Jack Nicholson. We can turn you off. He can’t.
Then there’s the tiny matter of Hollywood’s total disconnect to the movie going public. All five nominees were art films – four that can only be viewed on Lexapro. NORBIT actually made more money last year than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Hollywood needs to start making mainstream movies again. There’s no middle ground. It’s either THERE WILL BE BLOOD or ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS.
Considering there were no Golden Globes and much curiosity following the Writers Strike (Would the show come off? What would it look like? Would Cate Blanchett deliver during the Price-Waterhouse tribute?), you would expect a boost in the ratings. Instead it was just the opposite.
There's a clear message here. You’re losing more audience every year. Do something now or soon there will be such a lack of interest you can rename the show The Emmys.
When contacted about the Brad Renfro oversight in the "In Memoriam" piece, a spokesman for the AMPAS said it was an "editorial decision made because not everyone could be included." Oh really? But it's okay to show a couple of agents.
Whoopi Goldberg was in tears on THE VIEW because in the montage of Oscar hosts she had been omitted. She does have a point. She was the first woman emcee, first Oscar winner emcee, and first to wear a Big Bird suit, but did she have to actually cry? Come on. You're a former Oscar host. Show some dignity. It's not like there was a pet adoption snafu.
When Michael Caine won an Oscar for HANNAH AND HER SISTERS he was unable to attend the ceremony because he was in the Bahamas filming JAWS 4.
And I will leave you with this – for my money, the line of the Oscars comes from writer Allan Katz:
Jessica Alba; a perfect color dress to go with her present shape -- eggplant.