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Producers Promise Changes for 2013 Oscar Show, as Host Seth Macfarlane Announces 'Oscar Experience College Search' at mtvU 'Stand In' Series

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 30, 2012 at 4:21PM

The producers of this year's Oscar show, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, actively pursued TV writer/producer/comedian Seth Macfarlane as the host, they told me. "Of course we wanted Tina Fey," they said, but they knew she was already committed to doing the far less stressful Golden Globes. And they are changing up the Oscarcast considerably. They've been studying shows of Oscar past to see what worked--and didn't.
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Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane

The producers of this year's Oscar show, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, actively pursued TV writer/producer/comedian Seth Macfarlane as the host, they told me. "Of course we wanted Tina Fey!" they responded, but they knew that she was already committed to doing the far less stressful Golden Globes.  And they are changing up the Oscarcast considerably. They've been studying shows of Oscar past to see what worked--and didn't. 

As musical producers it makes sense that they admire 1969's Gower Champion and 2009's Bill Condon and Larry Mark kudocasts. And they're also willing to bring back performances of Oscar-nominated songs. Basically, if Adele gets her surefire nomination for "Skyfall," they're game.

Oscar-Experience

One change: there's no Billy Crystal-style opening montage short this year. And Macfarlane, the creator of hits "Ted" and "Family Guy," is working with his own writing team this time around. "We want it to be funny!" Meron said.

"In re-imagining what we want the Oscar show to be," they said, "we wanted everyone appearing on that stage to feel a deep commitment to film and its legacy, and most importantly, its future."

Thus another innovation intended to reach out to younger audiences comes from Macfarlane, who was the last guest professor for mtvU's "Stand In" series. "Stand In" guests teach a class based on his or her area of expertise and experience. Previous teachers include Madonna, Russell Simmons, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

At UCLA, Macfarlane announced "The Oscar Experience College Search," a collaboration between mtvU and the Academy to find the "next generation of Oscar hopefuls." The students will vie for the opportunity to deliver little gold men to Oscar presenters onstage at the February 24 telecast.

Check out details on the search on the Academy's Facebook page. Here's more info:



The Oscar Experience College Search will run through January 19, 2013. To enter, college students need to demonstrate they’re destined for the Oscars by completing the Academy’s entry form and uploading a video answering the question: How will you contribute to the future of movies? The producers of this year’s Awards show will ultimately pick a minimum of six winners, who will be flown to Los Angeles to participate in the 85th Academy Awards on Oscar Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center.
 

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Awards, Awards, Oscars


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.