Monday, February 25, 2008


The 80th Academy Awards seems to have taken the same train as the Grammy Awards and Network Evening News broadcasts when it comes to television viewers, the next great train wreck.

Early Nielsen numbers indicate it will be the worst watched Academy Award show in history, an astonishing 14% lower than the previous worst rated broadcast. That means 21% below last year. Following is the first awards ceremony.

This year the screen writers strike was settled just in time for the Oscars meaning we could count on a lot of stupid jokes again as only the professional Hollywood writers can generate.

The collapse in rating for the Oscars, Grammy Awards and even Network News demonstrates once again how out-of-touch the producers and sponsors have become. I guess they assume they are the experts, so we must like whatever they throw our way.

Wrong. The self-indulgent glamorizing of the gowns and jewelry on the red carpet has nothing to do with the merit of the awards and the creative nature of the performances. The various people involved in hosting related shows have simply worn out the public with Oscar overdose.

Enough of the stupid jokes, idle patter and not-so-subtle attempts to revive careers and TV shows via the Oscar ceremonies. The first flashback of an Oscar winner on the program was of Barbra Streisand. There was a room full of bonafide exceptional movie actors and actresses who had all won Oscars yet they selected Streisand to highlight? What was that all about? No offense Barbra but you are not in the same league as a Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett and many others in attendance.

All four top acting awards went to foreigners. So many foreigners were up for awards that four of the five top actresses were from other countries. A stripper wins the best original screenplay and a couple of Minnesota maniacs win best-adapted screenplay. Diablo Cody was a stripper in Minnesota and the Coen brothers were also from Minnesota so it was a better year for the Golden Gophers than the Hollywood writers. Here is Diablo on strike.

Now the surprise of the evening came from Barbara Waa Waa when her show actually gave us a great look at some of the celebrities up for Oscars or at least associated with the Oscars. I mean Hanna Montana was not nominated but she was giving out an Oscar. Is that surprising since the Hanna Montana show, Miley Cyrus the singer, and her stage show, tour and movie are all owned by Disney? Disney also owns ABC who broadcast the Oscars.

Cut the show back to two hours, get rid of the red carpet nonsense, put Billy Crystal and Ellen DeGeneres as rotating hosts, and let the winners talk and people might start watching again. Of course when you have 28 minutes of commercials every hour even these changes might not be enough.

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