After a few years experimenting with a gamut of host types — from Tony-approved A-Lister Hugh Jackman, youth-skewing It-persons Anne Hathaway and James Franco, and the older than old school Billy Crystal — the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has proven they'll give anything a try in hopes of luring eyes to their annual Oscar broadcast. With planning for next year's ceremony currently underway (the show already has a set date of February 24, 2013), news of the AMPAS hunt for a frontman is starting to trickle out with a big name leading the pack.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Jimmy Fallon is in talks to host the 2013 Oscars, with his Late Night and Saturday Night Live mastermind Lorne Michaels also in discussions to produce the show. The Academy Awards wouldn't be Fallon's first awards rodeo: the comedian previously wowed audiences as the host of the 2010 Emmys.
While neither Fallon nor Disney (the parent company of Oscar's TV home, ABC) could be reached for comment by the Times, the report does mention that a few factors could keep Fallon from landing the job. The responsibility of securing a host and producer for Hollywood's biggest night traditionally falls on the president of the Academy. That job's only just been filled — former head honcho Tom Sherak was replaced by Hawk Koch this past Tuesday. Sherak was in talks with Fallon previous to his departure, but according to the ex-Prez, he couldn't seal the deal before his term was complete. "I couldn't meet that deadline, so I stopped all negotiations." Whether Koch will continue with the discussions is unknown.
The other hurdle is just plain business smarts. Fallon's home is at NBC. ABC has their own late night funnyman: Jimmy Kimmel. Although Kimmel is slated to host the Emmys and is therefore out of the running for the Oscars gig, ABC may choose not to hire Fallon just to avoid promoting another network. While ABC's deal with the AMPAS does not allow them to veto the Academy's choices, their demands are taken seriously ("I felt that we were partners, and I included them in our decisions, even though I didn't have to," he said," Sherak tells the Post.) According to the Times, the network pays the Academy $70 million for the rights to air the Oscars. That's a fat check that Fallon's comedic stylings may not outweigh.
Hiring Fallon would be a catch for the Academy, who routinely struggles with finding a host that can play to both the house crowd of Hollywood elites and viewers at home. The actor's late night show is a blend of new and old, a time-honored format injected with a heavy dose of millenial energy. That's exactly what the Academy needs — but since when do people get what they want?
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[Photo Credit: WENN.com]