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Academy Picks Producer Donna Gigliotti in Hopes of Reviving Viewership for 2019 Oscar Show

After the worst show ratings in its history, the Academy turned to some Oscar-winning blood as well and a tried-and-true Emmy-winner.

Oscar Statuettes89th Annual Academy Awards, Backstage, Los Angeles, USA - 26 Feb 2017

Oscar Statuettes
89th Annual Academy Awards, Backstage, Los Angeles, USA – 26 Feb 2017

H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock

For the upcoming 91st Oscar telecast, after all the noise about the worst ratings in history, the Academy had to replace producers Michael DeLuca and Jennifer Todd. The duo did well enough their first time around (the Best Picture snafu was not their fault) to warrant returning their second, and put on a decent show within the usual constraints of a ceremony that must showcase 24 award winners.

For Oscars 2019, new producer Donna Gigliotti, who won an Oscar for Miramax’s surprise winner “Shakespeare in Love” in 1999, will pioneer new Academy rules allowing several of the tech Oscars to be handed out during the commercial break and then edited into the live show. (No one will miss their time in the spotlight; there will be a lot less walking.)

Glenn Weiss holds the Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special at the 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 September 2018. The Primetime Emmys celebrate excellence in national prime-time television programming.Photo Room - 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Sep 2018

Glenn Weiss holds the Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special at the 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards

NINA PROMMER/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

New Yorker Gigliotti will work closely with co-producer Glenn Weiss, who will also direct. If he looks familiar, he’s the unflappable guy who collected an Emmy last month for directing the 2018 Oscars (his fourth time directing the show) and proposed to his girlfriend live on the Emmys. Clearly, he has good showman instincts.

“We’re thrilled to work with someone as passionate about the Academy as Donna Gigliotti — an Oscar winner and multiple nominee,” stated Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “She and (the now famous) Glenn Weiss are committed to making the most of the innovations we’ve embraced for our 91st Oscars.”

Gigliotti is an Oscar perennial, having earned nominations for three other Best Picture entries, “Hidden Figures,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Reader.” Other credits include “The Fundamentals of Caring,” “Beasts of No Nation,” “Two Lovers,” “The Good Night” and “Emma.” The films she has produced and overseen have earned a total of 43 Oscar nominations.

DAVID PARFITT, DONNA GIGLIOTTI, HARVEY WEINSTEIN, GWYNETH PALTROW, EDWARD ZWICK AND MARC NORMAN.OSCAR AWARD CEREMONY, AMERICA - 1999

“Shakespeare in Love” Oscar award ceremony 1999.

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Weiss has won 14 Primetime Emmy Awards and has directed and produced numerous television events, including 18 Tony Awards. His other directing credits include “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “BET Awards,” “Peter Pan Live!,” “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Primetime Emmy Awards,” “Live from Lincoln Center,” “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular,” “Garth Brooks, Live from Las Vegas” and the “American Music Awards.”

The Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network and will be broadcast to global outlets on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

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