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Academy: Hire Judd Apatow to Produce 2016 Oscars

Academy: Hire Judd Apatow to Produce 2016 Oscars

This year’s meeting on Tuesday night was no exception. At the “Mad Men” final premiere Wednesday night, several board members confirmed that they did discuss the show but not the number of Best Picture nominees–that will be decided this summer when the rules committee has weighed in. 

While Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are claiming that it is their decision, the news that they are not returning was confirmed today. 

It’s no surprise. Their first Oscars, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, boasted great music and great ratings–even if the host was a disappointment. Their second Oscars also boasted great music and a superb host, Ellen DeGeneres, along with great ratings. So the musical duo were asked to produce for a third time, which was not the charm.

They allowed rookie host Neil Patrick Harris too much leeway with new writers and the show fell flat in all departments. (Personally, I loved Lady Gaga singing “The Sound of Music” and Common and John Legend’s performance of “Glory” from “Selma.”) But the ratings were down 16% to their lowest point since 2009, when the Academy changed the rules to allow for ten Best Picture nominees.

This may have had more to do with the slate of seven indie Best Picture contenders and one populist studio smash, “American Sniper.” But I can testify that the kudocast did not play in the room. 

Zadan and Meron are ardent tweeters and have kept up a barrage of reminders of their hosting duties, including behind-the-scenes photos with various celebrities. They seemed to be lobbying to keep the gig on the one hand and well aware that they were done on the other. On March 7, Zadan tweeted: “Hoping that whoever produces the Oscars next year will retain our innovations: TeamOscar program & reading all 24 nom on Oscar nom morning.”
Here’s one suggestion for a producer who will surely deliver a rapid-fire funny show with appeal to the younger demo: Judd Apatow. Maybe he can bring on board the likes of Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen. Oh, that’s exactly what will scare the Academy into not hiring him. 

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