This week, we went from an Oscars hosted by Eddie Murphy and produced by Brett Ratner, to one hosted by Billy Crystal. The L.A. Times points out that Crystal last appeared in a hit film in 1999 with Analyze This. Zoinks.
This year, the Oscars was all about reaching the young people, with lots of social media stuff surrounding the broadcast and two young hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco, who were specially selected to get the youth vote. That was a bust.
The L.A. Times suspects that the Oscars has now done away with its youthful aspiratiosn in favor of the tried-and-true. The last time Crystal hosted, in 1998, it was the highest rated broadcast of the awards ceremony ever.
On the other hand, shows hosted by those celebs that the whippersnappers like don’t do so well. Other than Hathaway and Franco, Jon Stewart hosted and it was the lowest rated of the Oscar broadcasts.
“It’s almost as if the show has been going through a midlife crisis… and now it’s admitting that, well, sometimes the safe choice is the best choice. Crystal will probably be mildly amusing. He won’t ruffle any feathers. He won’t convince teenagers to watch the show. He won’t tweet. I hope he hosts for 10 years,” reads EW‘s PopWatch blog.
The consensus is that the Oscars needs to appropriately target its audience. There’s only a certain segment of the population who are going to sit through a three-plus hour Hollywood pep rally when they can check out the fashions, winners, losers, upsets, and slights in 20 minutes online the next day.
Separately but related, Ricky Gervais, someone who knows how to host a big Hollywood event with some edge, says there’s a possibility that he could return to the Golden Globes, which would be awesome. The man does his monologue with a British accent and a glass of beer on the podium! Yes please.