Monday, April 21, 2014

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Return to Oscar Telecast

The Academy has announced today that after two straight years of the ratings going up, they have once again turned to Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers of the last two years, to run a third straight telecast. Let's make this very clear, the reason that the telecast ratings have risen is due to several factors. First, both Seth MacFarlane and Ellen Degeneres are popular figures in pop culture. Second, the rise of social media has helped boost interest in live television events. But the third reason is the real reason that the last two years have produced highly rated telecasts is because the last two years have been incredible years for American and world cinema. The Best Picture lineups have been a great balance of indie projects, blockbusters, and critical favorites, and audiences have tuned in to see films they like win Oscars. Also, there have been some nail biters in categories the last two years (this year's Best Picture race was particularly thrilling), that has made people want to tune in (instead of the years where almost every category was pre-determined). I do not think that these two producers are the reason the telecasts have done well, although the Academy clearly disagrees with me. I personally think that these two telecasts thrived despite their production. MacFarlane was too much for viewers, and their self indulgent musical tribute didn't help. And this year in response you could tell Ellen was uncomfortable, something she never is. Probably told to back off and play it safe after MacFarlane. But alas, they have been brought back this time around, and I do hope that this year's show is an entertaining affair, and they could really surprise me and knock me out of the park this year. I hope they do, and I wish them the best. The season kicks off in a few weeks at Cannes, so stay tuned. As always, we'll have to wait and see...

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