So after producer Lorne Michaels and host Jimmy Fallon were courted and before it all fell apart largely it seems over network rivalries between Oscar broadcaster ABC and NBC, it seems the folks at the Academy has chosen the safe and dull route for next year's ceremonies. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have been selected to produce the show. Wait...who?
The pair are producers who have movies like "The Bucket List," "Hairspray" and "Chicago" to their name, and musicals are big part of their CV, as they are also behind NBC's "Smash" and stage show revivals of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Promises, Promises." The big thing every single year is that the network and Academy want to get a younger demographic in to watch the show. And year after year, they subvert that opportunity. Granted, Billy Crystal this past Febraury was a last minute Hail Mary reissue after Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy dropped out following shrimpfagOliviaMunngate. And while James Franco and Anne Hathaway were a concerted effort to bring in the youngins', they were hampered by the usually tepid writing of the stock Academy team (something Franco later complained about, adding that Judd Apatow penned material that was never used).
But it seems that once again, we can expect the same standard razzle dazzle that is losing its sheen. Jeffrey Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere kind of hit the nail on the head, saying it "means that it'll be the same old lah-lah show it's always been. Zadan and Meron are boomer-aged members of "the club" who share the same passion for theatrical pizazz, spunky musical numbers and Tin Pan Alley showbiz spritz that former Oscar show producers Bill Condon and Larry Mark showed when Hugh Jackman hosted in '09. So the show will be "fun", swanky, spirited, Vegas-flavored, etc."
Let the hunt for the host begin, but it will likely be someone who fits into the wheelhouse of being fun, yet predictable and family friendly. [THR]