I’ve learned that the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences board of governors wanted a complete do-over of last year’s Oscar broadcast that broke a string of low, lower, lowest TV ratings. I’ve already reported that AMPAS went to Larry Mark and Bill Condon and asked them to respectively produce and direct again. But Mark is producing Jim Brook’s next movie, and Condon is prepping his Richard Pryor biopic. So they turned down the always prestigious offer. Now I’m told that AMPAS is about to check on the availability of Hugh Jackman to host for the 2nd year in a row. What an honor for the Aussie actor, who recently helped the show win the Emmy. But I’ve learned people around Jackman are going to privately recommend against him doing it twice. “He’s a movie star, not a song and dance man,” one rep told me, especially since Hugh also hosted the Tony’s. So it looks as if new AMPAS president Tom Sherak is back at square one. Meanwhile, I hear that Hawk Koch and Joel Silver separately offered to produce the Academy Awards last year. And Sherak could always go to his longtime business intimate Joe Roth who produced the 76th Oscars in 2004. Ah, but getting a host is always the hardest part. I’ve learned none will be announced until AMPAS pins down the producer who has final say over everything to do with the telecast.
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