Monday, January 26, 2004

Don't Encourage Them!

In today's column, Richard Roeper speculates that in the future the Oscar nominations will be announced in a primetime, hour-long special. Don't encourage them! The process is already dragged out enough that the last thing we need are protracted announcements dispersed between commercial breaks and commentary by self-proclaimed Oscar experts. (Currently the nominations are quickly announced at the crack of dawn on the West Coast to accommodate the network morning shows.)

Roeper is probably right that a primetime show would be an attractive package for the high bidder, yet the more I think about it, the more it doesn't seem likely the Academy would take this approach. After all, this program would have to be exclusive to one network, which doesn't equal the media onslaught we have now. (The three broadcast networks will cover the nominations live, as will E! and, I suspect, the cable news channels.) While it would make perfect sense for ABC, home of the Academy Awards ceremony, to host such a show, is exclusivity worth losing the free publicity on your competitors' airwaves?

Then again, it's all about the money. If the Academy were offered a deal they couldn't refuse...

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