Full Disclosure: I wrote a column similar to this one a few years ago. I may have even had the same title, give or take a couple of words.
But apparently, nobody at the Oscars committee was listening. They keep putting on the same, tired show and the ratings continue to sink accordingly. It’s their own fault.
This year, the show on Sunday garnered double-digit ratings declines. True, there was not one glamorous movie among the Best Picture crop — no Godfather or Lord of the Rings. Boyhood was interesting and Birdman was captivating (well, to a self-absorbed Hollywood crowd). But will we thin much about these movies in 25 years? Will TCM ballyhoo them?
If the problem, then, i the movies themselves, good luck.
I think that the Oscars can be salvaged with a little audience-friendly tinkering, like this:
1) Invent new categories, such as Best New Actor and Best New Actress. If nothing else, this would serve to inject some much-needed youthful zest into the Oscar broadcast.
2) Cut down on the dance and musical numbers. Save that stuff for the Tonys. This show is all about movie-star glamour and nothing else. People watching at home don’t want to see elegant dance numbers. They want to see movie stars.
3) Don’t televise the below-the-line winners. No offense, but again, the viewers don’t know their names and do not care who won these lesser categories. Yes, these folks are essential to the move-making process. But Oscar-show viewers don’t worry about the process That’s why The Devil’s Candy was not a household name as a book.
4) Have multiple hosts. This would make the broadcast less predictable and more exciting. The show suffers from a shortage of surprises. It needs to amp up the fun aspect.
5) Shorten the show. More is not always better. Longer shows tend to get borrrrring, without a reason to watch them. I could have DVR’d the show and watched in 20 minute all of the award presentations that I really cared about.
If ABC and Hollywood don’t take action soon, this broadcast will lose almost all of its relevance.