How to save the Oscar show

Stewart_lStrike or no strike, producers of the Oscar show are determined that there will be an awards telecast as scheduled on Feb. 24. Variety reports that the Academy is making unspecified contingency plans for an alternate show in the hopes of avoiding a debacle like the Golden Globes laundry list-reading that NBC had to air this week, but it’s not clear what form that alternate show would take, or what steps producers are taking to keep the show entertaining in case of an embargo on Guild-written patter and stars’ likely refusal to cross a picket line. Here are my suggestions; add yours below.

• Hire the American Idol judges to evaluate each performance before opening the envelopes.I’d like to know whether Randy thought Cate Blanchett’s Bob Dylan was a little pitchy.

• Have host Jon Stewart (pictured) improvise like he’s been doing on The A Daily Show. He can interview the seat-fillers and the accountants who tally the votes.

• Follow the Globes’ example and make the show available to whoever wants to broadcast it, so that it won’t be an ABC-exclusive event, the writers won’t picket, and stars will be able to come. Sorry, ABC, but you’re going to get screwed out of millions in ad dollars no matter what happens, so you might as well bite the bullet on this one.

• I never imagined I’d say this, but hire back choreographer Debbie Allen, stat!

Okay, PopWatchers, your turn.

addCredit(“Jon Stewart: Michael Caulfield Archive/”)

Comments (30 total) Add your comment
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  • RayT

    In my opinion, the absolute best way to handle this situation is to just postpone the Oscars until after the strike. Who really cares if the Oscars are even held as late as this summer or even early fall? I’d take an 8-month late show over a celebrity-less show any day and I think everyone else would too!

  • Strepsi

    YEs – DEBBIE ALLEN – choreographing the dancers from So You Think You Can Dance. I would much, MUCH rather watch Neil, Danny, and Pasha for 3 hours than American Gangster or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly….. and so would you.

  • mikey

    What about televising it as a news event rather than an entertainment event? Don’t try to create a “lite” writerless version of the current format, try a different format altogether.
    Do something like they do with the political primaries or sports selection events (e.g. March Madness seeding, NFL draft). A panel of analysts made up of critics and entertainment journalists could handicap each category and explain the rationale behind the selection of the winners after they are announced. There could be packaged informational segments on the nominees and/or winners. Maybe they’d be able to do interviews with some winners.
    I don’t know enough about the strike particulars to know if entertainment and news writers would be allowed to write scripts for news and information segments, but if they are, a different type of show might be more interesting to watch (if only for one year) than trying to recreate the traditional format through improv.

  • T-Rex

    Once the nominees are announced, hold a youtube competition for parodies of the winners acceptance speeches. Then pick the youtube winners for each contestant. Have a clip for each of the nominees cued up and ready to go. When the winner is announced, play the selected clip if the real person isn’t in attendance.

  • T-Rex

    Once the nominees are announced, hold a youtube competition for parodies of the winners acceptance speeches. Then pick the youtube winners for each contestant. Have a clip for each of the nominees cued up and ready to go. When the winner is announced, play the selected clip if the real person isn’t in attendance.

  • Anonymous

    -Have the giant Oscar statues on the stage be robots and shoot lasers at anyone whose acceptance speech goes on too long
    -No montages
    -Have a huge timer above the stage that connects to a bomb, and if the show doesn’t end before the timer times out the bomb explodes, now THAT’S motivation

  • Kelly

    I like where your head is at Mikey! I was thinking the same thing – sort of a cross between ESPN’s coverage of the draft and VH1’s I love the 80’s (or 90’s, or 70’s or whatever)

  • BrandonK

    Wonderful ideas, can’t wait for the Oscars, etc. Most pressing at the moment: Why is Jon Stewart that color?!

  • Carlos

    I don’t care how its aired- as long as those Access Hollywood morons with their ‘editorials’ aren’t allowed to announce the Oscars like they did at the Golden Globes. I knew it wasn’t supposed to be all glitz and glamour and what not, but the mere presence of those gossip media robots seemed to cheapen the foundation of the awards. I was going to watch the entire telecast until that jack@$$ Billy Bush made that idiotic statement about Cate Blanchett not deserving her award (which she did, in my opinion) because she was ‘simply playing a man.’ Billy, just stick to the teleprompter or shut the hell up.

  • david

    The Oscars is seen by a world-wide audience so make it a world-wide event. Move the show overseas somewhere, hire foreign writers who aren’t affected by the strike and hopefully the stars will show. Or ABC can sell the rights to the show to David Letterman’s Production company for millions of dollars and he can have a special 3 hour late show and give out the awards himself since he has hosted before and since he has writers the stars will be there.

  • dap

    Thank you BrandonK…after seeing Jon Stewart’s photo my first thought was “Why is he orange?” Compare the color of his face with his hands!

  • David

    Turn the Oscars into a reality show since reality show writers aren’t on strike; Battle of the Out-of-Work All-Stars. Starting on the Wednesday night before the ceremony, lock all the nominees in each major category into a big brother style house, one house for each category. Each night they perform a wacky challenge, answer trivia questions and do a dance and the audience votes off one person out of each category. By Saturday night there should be two nominees left per category, they make their final pleas to the country and on Sunday they are all let out and the winner is announced as voted on by AMERICA.

  • Anonymous

    Please, no Mary Hart or Billy Bush!! I think a scaled down press conference-like presentation could work and have each of the nominees tape a 90-second thank you that would be shown following the announcement of the winner. I think having the members of the academy introduce each category would be nice.

  • Rahul

    How about letting the fans post jokes about the nominees on the Oscar website? The producers/Jon Stewart can pick their favorites (maybe limit it to 10?) and credit the fans at the end of the show.

  • Ames

    I honestly don’t see what the big deal is not having writers at the Oscars. I’ve been watching Daily Show, and to be honest, I don’t notice much of a difference. And seriously, the funniest moments at the Oscars are ad-libs. Those “jokes” actors say at the podium are always so bad. The look on their face is always “please don’t make me say this!!”

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