Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed in Syria

Read more

WEB NEWS

"Ice Bucket Challenge" angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

ENCORE!

An art wonderland: A burnt-out piano, a bed in a box and a giant magic mushroom

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

Culture

Oscars organisers hoping to push up ratings

Latest update : 2009-02-22

In a secret revamp of the ceremony, Oscars organisers are going to "take some bold risks" to improve upon last year's poor broadcast ratings, said Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Sid Ganis.

AFP - A veil of secrecy has been thrown over preparations for this year's Oscars, with organizers hoping a sweeping revamp of the ceremony can help the show bounce back from record low ratings.

One year after the 80th Academy Awards entered the record books as the least-watched Oscars in history, Hollywood is buzzing with speculation over how Sunday's show at the Kodak Theater is set for an overhaul.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Sid Ganis said earlier this month that fans could expect some daring tweaks.

"It's going to be a show that takes some bold risks," Ganis said.

Some of the changes to the telecast's tried-and-tested formula are public knowledge. Australian actor Hugh Jackman is to host the event in a break with the recent tradition of having a comedian act as compere.

The identities of the presenters on the awards night have also been kept a secret when in previous years the Academy revealed presenters in the weeks building up to the ceremony.

The choice of Jackman as host, and the fact that the telecast will be produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, the team behind 2006 musical "Dreamgirls," hints that the emphasis will be on "show" rather than "business."

Jackman earned rave reviews for his singing and dancing hosting of the Tony Awards from 2003-2005, and hinted that viewers could expect more of the same in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine.

"It's too early to give details, but it's fair to say there's going to be singing and dancing. The fact that they've hired me is a sign they're taking a different route," Jackman said.

Jackman also hinted the show was likely to be shorter than the usual three-hour extravaganza.

"I love the Oscars but there's no doubt they're too long," he said. "I don't think there's a person on the planet who doesn't feel that way."

The apparent willingness to streamline the show has not found favor with everyone however.

Veteran British singer Peter Gabriel, nominated in the best song category, revealed last week he had scrapped plans to sing at the Oscars after discovering that his performance had been slashed to 65 seconds.

Instead of a full rendition of "Down to Earth" from hit animated movie "Wall-E," Gabriel said he had told that he would only be part of a medley with his two fellow nominees.

"I do think it's a bit unfortunate because songwriters, even though they're a small part of the whole film-making process we still work bloody hard, and I think deserve a place in the ceremony as well," Gabriel said.

In previous years, music nominated in best song nominees has been performed live on Oscars night. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was not immediately available for comment.

Whether the revamped ceremony is able to entice more viewers remains to be seen. Lew Harris, a consultant to hollywood.com website, suggested that moves to keep changes to the show secret could backfire.

"They're talking about surprises, the problem is, if this is true, they're keeping it under wraps," Harris told AFP. "This isn't going to bring viewers to their televisions."

"Why should people turn on the television in the first place? They need to think about the length of the telecast, they need to show more clips. They've got a big jump to get people to watch the show."

Robert Thompson, a pop culture expert at Syracuse University in New York, agreed. "In the end, the Academy Awards night is really about reading a bunch of lists on films that have been recognized as superior by people within the film industry," he said. "And then saying which one won."
 

Date created : 2009-02-18

COMMENT(S)