Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

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Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by JackO on Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:07 am

lol! Reported from flip flopper Steve Mason

Oscar ratings up 11% and up over 14% with the coveted 18-49 demo!
by Steve Mason

Good news for the Motion Picture Academy. Despite the fact that the five Best Picture nominees had combined to gross less than $300M domestic by showtime, Oscar ratings were up considerably from last year’s all-time low. Early numbers show that the ABC telecast scored a 27 share, surging by 11% overall and by over 14% with TV’s “money demo” 18-49s. Compare that to last year when the show was down 25% in households from 2007 and down 30% among 18-49s.

The credit should go to producers Lawrence Mark and Bill Condon, although I can see why the streamlined show is a bit of a Rorschach test for viewers. If you love movies, and especially actors, last night’s show was respectful and enlightening. If you are inclined to dislike awards shows and actors, then the telecast would be pretty dreary.

I loved the multi-presenter set-up for the four acting categories. Each nominee was treated as a winner with a past winner talking about what made their performance one of the year’s best. It was cool to see people like Sophia Loren, Robert DeNiro, Joel Grey, Eva Marie Saint and Ben Kingsley take part in the presentation of major awards. (I had the opportunity to interview Kingsley when Schindler’s List was released, and he is a student of acting. He described another actor’s performance as “letting the monster out of the box too soon,” and it stuck with me.)
Wolverine set for release May 1

Next up for Hugh Jackman is X-Men Origins: Wolverine set for release May 1

As for Hugh Jackman as host, he was very different from the string of comedians we have seen in the job. He didn’t feel the need to riff on current events or politics, instead playing it as a fan, and the two musical numbers were hit-and-miss. I was really worried about the opening number until the Anne Hathaway as Nixon finale. It was a bit strained and a little desperate. The second number created by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) worked better with Beyonce, the High School Musical kids and the duo from Mamma Mia!.

Overall, in the modern post-Bob Hope, post-Johnny Carson era, I rank Jackman in the upper tier of those that have tried their hand at the impossible job. He’s well below Billy Crystal and Steve Martin, but much better than John Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg and Chris Rock. It’s apples and oranges really, because Jackman is so different.

As for the structure of the show, I enjoyed the layout of the broadcast from screenwriting to cinematography to post-production and music. One of the reasons the show came in at less than 3:30 is that presenters handled multiple categories. Steve Martin and Tina Fey were an inspired pairing. The same can be said for Natalie Portman with a Joaquin Phoenix-style Ben Stiller.

The two hilights of the show? First, there was Judd Apatow’s inspired mini-feature starring Seth Rogen and James Franco in their Pineapple Express characters, randomly recruiting two-time Oscar winning DP Janusz Kaminski to be part of the fun. Hilarious. The other high point was the way that the three Oscar nominated songs, winner Jai Ho and nominee O Saya from Slumdog and Peter Gabriel’s Down to Earth from WALL-E were blended together seamlessly with a mix of Indian dancers and African rhythms and John Legend stepping in on vocals for Gabriel.

Danny Boyle refrencing Tigger while accepting Best Director was nice. Kate Winslet was more put-together during her speech than she has been at previous awards stops, and Sean Penn was Sean Penn. “You Commie - homo-lovin’ sons of guns,” kind of says it all.

Epic fail on a lot of accounts here. Laughing Twisted Evil
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by geezer9687 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:21 am

I would like to know exactly how much the ratings dropped off after Heath Ledger won. I think that would be a fun little statistic.

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by JackO on Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:06 am

Now that's just sounds desperate. I'm sure if that was the case, the biggest cheerleaders for failure, Steve Mason and Nikke Finke, would have written something but, right now, they are both eating their fair share of crow and rewriting history right for their shoddy "reporting" on the Oscars.
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by geezer9687 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:11 am

I was just saying it would be interesting to know. You can't tell me it didn't go down. It was the biggest story, at least amongst the general public.

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by numbersix_99 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:13 am

But isn't a 27% share still low in relation to most of the previous ceremonies?
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by Swedgin! on Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:39 am

Well, I'm more than happy to admit I called it wrong (I maintained this year's blockbuster-less ceremony, hosted by the appealing but not precisely superstar host Hugh Jackman, would be the lowest in history), but I beg to differ with Mase. Among certain demographics, the telecast may have made significant strides, but this year's entry is STILL among the three lowest EVER (along with 2008's and 2003's). It improved upon last year's worst-ever ratings by a meager 6%, according to numerous media reports, a fairly telling statistic Mase doesn't even mention. Hardly a "surge".

This is the first year in over a decade I didn't host an Oscar's party. Neither did anyone I know. I just couldn't be bothered to watch this vacuous orgy of inbred, politically correct self-congratulation when neither The Dark Knight, Gran Torino nor Wall*E, each of which were head and feet above every other film that was nominated, were out of the running for Best Picture. I TiVo'ed the thing and watched a little of host Jackman, the oddly schizophrenic tribute to the fallen (did I miss it, or was Heath Ledger absent from that bit?), the awards for Best Animated Film, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and Jerry Lewis's segment. In the words of James Hetfield, nothing else mattered.


So long, Heath
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by NSpan on Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:45 am

Swedgin! wrote:the oddly schizophrenic tribute to the fallen (did I miss it, or was Heath Ledger absent from that bit?)
according to the gf, Ledger was featured in last year's tribute.. Brad Renfro, on the other hand, got ignored in both

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by undeadmonkey on Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:10 am

actually i thought i remembered seeing Renfro in last years also, but im not sure
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:11 am

Heath was def in last year's.

And I read somewhere that the Academy wouldn't do a tribute to Brad Renfro because he died of an drug overdose?
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by NSpan on Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:28 am

BanksIsDaFuture wrote:Heath was def in last year's.

And I read somewhere that the Academy wouldn't do a tribute to Brad Renfro because he died of an drug overdose?
unlike Heath?

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:34 am

NSpan wrote:
BanksIsDaFuture wrote:Heath was def in last year's.

And I read somewhere that the Academy wouldn't do a tribute to Brad Renfro because he died of an drug overdose?
unlike Heath?

Yeah but heroin vs sleeping pills?
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by NSpan on Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:31 am

BanksIsDaFuture wrote:
NSpan wrote:
BanksIsDaFuture wrote:Heath was def in last year's.

And I read somewhere that the Academy wouldn't do a tribute to Brad Renfro because he died of an drug overdose?
unlike Heath?

Yeah but heroin vs sleeping pills?
didn't they pay tribute to River Phoenix?

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by Swedgin! on Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:58 am

Hmmm, you're probably right about Ledger being honored last year, I must have blocked that out. But I do remember vividly that Renfro was stricken from last year's rolls, which in my humble opinion is the friggin' HEIGHT of Hollyweird hypocrisy. So, what, people who routinely ABUSE drugs are worthy of praise and recognition from these shallow, callow sycophants... but the solitary poor sonofabitch who actually DIES from their addiction / illness, owing to an O/D or an unfortunate interaction or just some really bad shit ought to be just swept under the carpet? These people really piss me off sometimes. I was stationed in Cuba when the Academy Awards was held the year after River Phoenix's death, but I caught it a few days later on Armed Forces Television, and Mr. Renfro deserves the same honor and appreciation for his contributions to the medium. So, frankly, do dirtbags and criminals like Roman Polanski, Wesley Snipes and O.J. Simpson, so don't anyone tell me that accidentally offing oneself is a just reason to repudiate an entire career. These people REALLY f@$%ing PISS ME OFF.


THIS daffy bastard blew his friggin' head off. Should the Grammys have ignored him?
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by silversurfer19 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:09 am

Simply put, I think Renfro wasn't popular enough an actor to receive recognition. Unfair, but that's how Hollywood works.

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by Buscemi on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:28 am

He could have been a well-known actor with a decent career (see his debut in The Client if you don't believe me), but the drugs hurt his chances.

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by JackO on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:31 am

Some critics called Slumdog Millionaire "poverty porn," but some of this post-mortem Heath Ledger worship is bordering on necrophilia.
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:15 am

silversurfer19 wrote:Simply put, I think Renfro wasn't popular enough an actor to receive recognition. Unfair, but that's how Hollywood works.

I had never heard of him until he died. Then again, I'd never heard of River Phoenix either. So I guess so.
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by silversurfer19 on Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:24 am

He was the guy from Apt Pupil or The Client, had you never seen them before?

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by mfrendo on Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:10 pm

He was also in Bully...
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by IPKI$$ on Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:32 pm

Don't forget Tom&Huck! But, whether he was well-known by the public or not, he wasn't nearly as obscure as a lot of the people you see on those tributes...
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:24 am

silversurfer19 wrote:He was the guy from Apt Pupil or The Client, had you never seen them before?

I have not. I've seen Bully though on TBS or something like that - that's the one with Tom Arnold?
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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by Buscemi on Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:41 am

That's Big Bully and no, Brad Renfro was not in that.

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Re: Oscar Telecast Ratings UP BIG!

Post by IPKI$$ on Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:09 pm

But Rick Moranis was...and there was that guy who kept putting his fist in his mouth, and the nerdy kid who said, "I have to urinate!" in the middle of the classroom. Man, I have got to watch that movie again, maybe Little Giants too.
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