Oscars producers have one main goal: Keep you entertained

Streaming HUBMarch 9, 2023

Sunday’s 95th Academy Awards debut is going to be a “moment,” the show’s producers promise.

They won’t say what it really is – a montage? A Billy Crystal-inspired skit where Jimmy Kimmel pretends to be all the best picture nominees? A secret performance? Tom Cruise landing a jet on top of the Dolby Theater? However, it won’t include Lady Gaga — the Best Original Song nominee is currently in the midst of production on a “Joker” sequel.

But Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, this year’s executive producers and showrunners, are certain it will draw viewers in and keep them engaged for the duration.

Both Weiss and Kirshner are live television veterans. He has officiated Grammys, Tonys, Emmys, the Super Bowl, and even presidential inaugurations. But the Oscar is a first for Kirshner.

“There are only a few shows on the bucket list,” Kirshner said. “I had to go to the award show EGOT.”

Yet, it is a task not everyone is prepared for. One might also wonder why Weiss, who was the director of the show when both Envelopegate and The Slap happened, would want to put himself through it again.

Weiss said, “I think what I love about live television scares a lot of people, thinking on your feet and moving forward and changing.” What’s in the script? I think my energy comes from moving away from that script. Leaving aside any special event, I love the thrill of live television.”

This year they aim to celebrate a glorious year of films. And it doesn’t hurt that they have several billion-dollar blockbusters in the mix, with “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” both vying for best picture. And although their participation is decided much earlier than usual, it always ends up being a race to the finish: There’s only so much planning can go on before we know who the nominees are.

“I really think the nominations put so much interesting material in front of us,” Weiss said. “We want to keep the audience that has seen these films really want to see more and learn more about the creators. We’re here to celebrate the films. We want to celebrate moviemakers both in front of and behind the camera.” Celebrating the place.

The runtime of the show is always an issue, with the show aiming to last for three hours. (“Three hours, yeah right,” Kimmel joked in his “Top Gun: Maverick”-inspired promo for the show.) All categories are being announced live at the show this year, including four Best Originals performances. Will be included. Song nominees. But they’re not sweating the runtime.

“We really care that people have a good time,” Kirshner said. “There are things we can’t control. And if a speech is good, we won’t cut you off.”

And should their plan be, say, an envelope mixed up, a streaker walk across the stage or a Best Actor nominee slapping the presenter? Well, frankly, it’s someone else’s job.

Weiss said, “When we inaugurate, we don’t tell the Secret Service how to protect the president.” Entertaining and keep it up.

Academy President Bill Kramer has said that a crisis team and security are ready for any kind of scenario.

As for the host, Molly McEnery, who is the show’s executive producer and is married to Kimmel, said he thrives on unexpected moments.

“I’ve never seen her so excited in my entire life when ‘La La Land’/’Moonlight’ happened,” McNearney said. “He loves moments like this. He loves to be in the moment.

And slapstick is fair game for Kimmel, too.

“We’re going to accept it and we’re going to move on. I think that’s what everybody wants. We don’t want this year to be like last year.” “It’s something we can and will address in a humorous fashion.”


For more on this year’s Oscars, watch:

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