OSCARS: Broadcaster ABC Unveils Nate Silver’s Number-Crunch Data Hours Before Awards Ceremony: Video

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 11:04am PST

TNate Silverhis morning, in the walk-up to its broadcast of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, ABC brought out ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chiefNate Silver and its general editor Walter Oscar_badgeHickey to share results of their controversial number crunching about Best Picture Oscar winners through the ages on the network’s Sunday Beltway show This Week.  Here are their six big takeaways:

1. It’s All About Adaptation
Silver and Hickey calculated that nearly 40% of best picture nominees originate from books, while about 18% originate from plays.

2. Oscar Hearts NYC
The Big Apple is an Oscars favorite, with about 20% of nominees taking place there. Next in popularity are London and Paris, while Washington D.C. and Los Angeles just barely make the top five.

Oscars 2014: Ellen Poster3. 1930s or Bust
The 1930s turned out to be the most common decade to have a film set. “Since 1939, about one in seven best picture nominees have involved World War II in some way, shape, or form,” Hickey told ABC News’s Lara Spencer, best known as Good Morning America‘s lifestyle anchor. Overall, time periods filled with dramatic events are more likely to be seen in best picture nominees. “Decades that were more tumultuous – the ’30s, the ’40s, the ’60s probably – create more ground for really fertile, rich topics than happy decades like the ’90s, or the ’50s,” Silver said.

Related: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Final Predictions In Every Category

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Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski Join ‘Today’ Show’s Monday Post-Oscar Broadcast

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 2:26pm PST

More screen time for Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski at NBCU. The It Couple of NBC’s Sochi Olympics coverage willnbcs-johnny-weir-and-tara-lipinski-brought-22-pairs-of-shoes-and-10-pounds-of-jewelry-to-sochi__140225210302-575x431 be part of  NBC’s Today  Oscar show from LA on Monday. Kathie Lee Gifford and Al Roker are hosting the … Read More »

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OSCARS: Academy Makes History Sending Screeners And Opening Voting In All 24 Categories To Every Member For The First Time

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 10:41am PST
Pete Hammond

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is jumping into the screener business. Big time. DVDs for Animated, LiveAcademy Awards Action and Documentary Shorts as well as Feature Documentary and for the first time, Foreign Language Film nominees are … Read More »

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Oscar Scandal: Academy Nixes Song Nomination For Improper Campaigning

Oscars 2014What’s next Oscar, a Best Actress nomination for Pia Zadora? After Deadline Hollywood uncovered the story behind a bizarre Oscar nomination for a little-heard song in an unseen film that was curiously written by a former Academy Governor and head of the music branch, the Academy took the highly unusual step today of disallowing the tune from Oscar consideration. Read More »

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Oscar Production Team Announced

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 1:58pm PST

oscar-statueBEVERLY HILLS, CA — Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron today announced 13 key members of the production team for the Oscars®, which will air on SUNDAY, MARCH 2, live on ABC.

Director Hamish Hamilton returns to the show after having directed the 82nd Oscars in March 2010. Hamilton has directed many celebrated live televised events, including the 2013 “MTV Video Music Awards,” the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Beyoncé, and the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, for which he received an Emmy® nomination. Hamilton also shared in the 2011 Peabody Award for the fifth annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” and was a 2003 Grammy Award® nominee for directing the musical special “Robbie Williams – Live at the Albert.” He will direct the upcoming 2014 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Bruno Mars.

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Official 2014 Oscars Poster Unveiled

By | Wednesday January 8, 2014 @ 11:44am PST

The Academy today released the official poster for the 2014 Oscars featuring host Ellen DeGeneres and the man of the hour – the Oscar statuette. March 2, 2014 will mark the comedienne and talk show host’s second time emceeing the Academy Awards. She last hosted the … Read More »

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OSCARS: Bradley Cooper Ready For Another Awards Season ‘Hustle’ – Interview

Pete Hammond

For many the grueling, six month awards season is a blessing and a curse. It’s great to be nominated but theBradley Cooper marathon race takes its toll on the contenders who might be crawling to the finish line after being on the circuit for such a protracted period of time. But that’s not the case for Bradley Cooper. It seems like he just got off the awards whirlwind after being nominated for everything in sight including an Oscar for last season’s Silver Linings Playbook, but he’s back with a vengeance with American Hustle for which his role as the innocent and somewhat loopy FBI  agent Richie DiMaso has already been nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Movie Award, as well as a SAG Cast award along with co-stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner among others. And there’s Oscar buzz again, this time in supporting rather than lead. So is he really happy to be going through all of this craziness again so soon? You bet. “If I am lucky enough to be a part of it, yes. I am excited.  Last year was amazing. I loved it. Maybe it’s because I still have a sort of innocent love of movies but to be in these rooms with these actors who I admire, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time. I really love it,” he said when he called me from France this week. Cooper is having a little R and R as he says in Paris (“my favorite place for sure”) after wrapping Cameron Crowe’s untitled new film in Hawaii right before Christmas. He’ll be back in the States this weekend for the Palm Springs International Film Festival  when the Hustle cast receives the award for outstanding ensemble. And then next week it’s the Globes, CCMAs , SAG and on and on.

Related: Will ‘American Hustle’ Continue David O. Russell’s Hot Streak At The Oscars? (Video)
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Peter O’Toole’s Long And Frustrating Half-Century Dance With Oscar: “Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride”

Pete Hammond

There is no doubt Peter O’Toole was one of the greatest actors the movies have ever seen.  Since coming intoacademy-awards-oscar-snubs-overlookedjpg-3f9c1ffb7a28120a_large major international stardom with his dazzling turn in Lawrence Of Arabia, O’Toole compiled a group of brilliant performances over the … Read More »

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‘Lawrence Of Arabia’s Peter O’Toole Dead At 81 – 8-Time Oscar Nominee Retired Last Year

By and | Sunday December 15, 2013 @ 10:18am PST

Peter O'Toole deadOscar-nominated actor Peter O’Toole died yesterday, his agent confirmed Sunday. He was 81. Often called the Hamlet of his generation, his death comes only about a year after retiring from a 54-year career in both stage and film highlighted by his turn as T.E. Lawrence in David Lean’s 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, which won seven Oscars including Best Picture. The beloved actor was nominated for eight Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in his lifetime, including a nod for the Lawrence role that defined his career. In July 2012, he wrote a poignant note to the world, stating, “It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won’t come back. My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I’ve shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits. However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.”

Peter Seamus O’Toole was born on August 2, 1932 in Connemara, Ireland in County Galway. After a stint in the Royal Navy, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and debuted on television in 1954 before breaking out in Lawrence of Arabia, earning the first of eight career Oscar nods. After that he was nominated 7 more times, including for Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Ruling Class, The Stunt Man, and My Favorite Year. He was last nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for the movie Venus. O’Toole also provided the voice of Anton Ego (the hard-nosed food reviewer) in Pixar’s Ratatouille. He was the most nominated actor never to receive an Oscar, but the Academy remedied that by presenting him with an honorary Oscar in 2003.

Related: Peter O’Toole Announces Retirement From Acting: “The Heart Has Gone Out Of Me”

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins memorialized O’Toole in a statement via the actor’s agent, Steve Kenis:

Peter O'Toole dead“I have heard with great sadness of the passing of Peter O’Toole this weekend. Ireland, and the world, has lost one of the giants of film and theatre.

In a long list of leading roles on stage and in film, Peter brought an extraordinary standard to bear as an actor. He had a deep interest in literature and a love of Shakespearean Sonnets in particular.

While he was nominated as Best Actor for an Oscar eight times, and received a special Oscar from his peers, for his contribution to film, he was deeply committed to the stage.

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Turner Classic Movies To Premiere ‘Oscar’ Docu In Lead-Up To Academy Awards

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 11:06am PDT

As part of TCM’s annual 31 Days of Oscar® showcase in February 2014, the network will present the world premiere of Oscar, a brand-new documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards. Produced by Telling Pictures, Inc., in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy) and Hollywood Newsreel, this fascinating special will take movie lovers on a journey through Hollywood history as it tells its story of the little statuette that became the industry’s most coveted prize.

Oscar is set to have its world television premiere on TCM Saturday, Feb. 1, the opening night of the 2014 edition of 31 Days of Oscar. With the new documentary as its centerpiece, 31 Days of Oscar will be themed around the history of the Academy Awards. Featuring more than 300 Oscar-winning and nominated films, the month-long showcase will take a deep look into the world’s oldest, most important and most prestigious film award. Each night’s lineup will feature a complete set of nominated films that faced each other in a particular category, beginning Feb. 1 with all 10 Best Picture nominees from 1939: Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Of Mice and Men, Ninotchka, Wuthering Heights, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Dark Victory and Love Affair.

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Oscar Prediction Shake-Up? Nate Silver Given New Game-Changing Role By ABC

By | Monday July 22, 2013 @ 5:55am PDT

UPDATED WITH MORE DETAILS: The Academy Awards are important in and around Hollywood for primarily three reasons: the nominations which bring audiences into theaters as a movie marketing tool, the lucrative ‘For Your Consideration’ ads they generate, and the global telecast announcing winners so everybody can bask in their reflected glory. Now ABC is trying to corner the market on all with one move. Not only does the network broadcast the Oscars but its news division is guaranteeing data guru Nate Silver a role. How much of a Hollywood game-changer will this become? Not much of one judging from how little attention his movie awards prognostication has garnered in the past. Twice before, in 2009 and 2011, he sought to predict the Academy Award winners in 6 major categories based on a “mix of statistical factors”. His track record was 9 correct picks in 12 tries, for a 75% success rate. “Not bad, but also not good enough to suggest that there is any magic formula for this,” he wrote. For the 6 marquee categories he hadicapped in 2013, he was correct only for sure-things and missed the 2 that were more complex to predict. Meh.

I’ve been pondering this news scooped by Politico’s Mike Allen about all the  inducements ESPN/ABC News gave the 35-year-old to leave The New York Times, including extensive air time, a digital empire, and inclusion in the Oscars. A lot of showbiz websites and blogs large and small, smart and smarmy, clued-in and clueless, depend on their Oscar prognostication to drive traffic and foot bills. But unless Silver allows for the myriad variables that go into Academy Award noms and wins – insider stuff that Deadline knows from covering movie awards season in-depth – he won’t become more accurate.

For instance: Who’s popular, deserving, and appropriately humble enough to get nominated? Which film’s director is considered a douchebag whom nobody wants to win? What studio did a lousy job campaigning for the Academy Awards? How badly is Harvey Weinstein badmouthing the competition? I’ve always said that most Oscar voters are not just geriatric and cranky but also jealous and vengeful. Whether Silver’s statistical model can take into account those indiosyncracies and also cover more Oscar categories than just 6 is yet to be seen. But I’ll bet on Deadline’s own awards columnist Pete Hammond to beat Silver’s prognostications in 2014.

Obviously, the annual Academy Awards process isn’t as big a deal as U.S. national election campaigns. But interesting to note that Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog was driving 20% of all traffic to the NYT as the last election electrified. That’s because in 2012 he correctly predicted the winners of all 50 states, in 2008 the winners of 49 out of 50 states, and the winners of all 35 U.S. Senate races that year as well. What ESPN/ABC offered was to return Silver to his flagship FiveThirtyEight.com and put him on air at ESPN and ABC, and develop verticals on a variety of new topics. And now he’ll work for the TV home of the Oscars. Odds are certain that Silver’s blog now will become one of the go-to places for Oscar dollars. But not for accuracy.

Can Silver truly become a trusted player in this showbiz space? Maybe. But he’ll have to do a lot better. Of course, if he’s wrong his first time out after being hyped way more than in the past, he’ll be laughed out of the biz. First, he has to stop relying on all the other film awards each year. They simply don’t matter. It might help if the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hands Silver its list of voters. Considering that AMPAS and ABC are joined at the hip because their broadcast pact goes at least through 2020, that’s doable. Whether or not the membership will resent having their privacy violated or participating in any polling is an impending challenge. Certainly the Academy over the years has discouraged voters from cooperating with any prediction schemes.

So what methodology will Silver use? As best as I can understand it (and, please remember that I’m mathematically challenged), it’s a so-called ’educated and calculated estimation’ stemming from his reliance on statistics and study of performance, economics, and metrics. This guy first developed the Elo rating for Major League baseball, a system that calculates the relative skill levels of players. He then developed his PECOTA system for projecting performance and careers and sold it. His FiveThirtyEight is a self-created political polling aggregation website (which took its name from the number of electors in the U.S. Electoral College) using a calculated model. He needs to better adapt that to the Oscars instead of just relying on other awards shows.

Here’s what Silver wrote about his Oscar predictions in 2013:

This year, I have sought to simplify the method, making the link to the FiveThirtyEight election forecasts more explicit. This approach won’t be foolproof either, but it should make the philosophy behind the method more apparent. The Oscars, in which the voting franchise is limited to the 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, are not exactly a democratic process. But they provide for plenty of parallels to political campaigns.

In each case, there are different constituencies, like the 15 branches of the Academy (like actors, producers and directors) that vote for the awards. There is plenty of lobbying from the studios, which invest millions in the hopes that an Oscar win will extend the life of their films at the box office. And there are precursors for how the elections will turn out: polls in the case of presidential races, and for the Oscars, the litany of other film awards that precede them.

So our method will now look solely at the other awards that were given out in the run-up to the Oscars: the closest equivalent to pre-election polls. These have always been the best predictors of Oscar success. In fact, I have grown wary that methods that seek to account for a more complex array of factors are picking up on a lot of spurious correlations and identifying more noise than signal. If a film is the cinematic equivalent of Tim Pawlenty — something that looks like a contender in the abstract, but which isn’t picking up much support from actual voters — we should be skeptical that it would suddenly turn things around.

Just as our election forecasts assign more weight to certain polls, we do not treat all awards equally.

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Why The Oscars Aren’t Moving Earlier – Analysis

Pete Hammond

I hate to say I TOLDJA but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences today announced its Oscar season schedule for 2014 and, predictably, with the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl taking every Sunday in February, the Academy moved the Oscar show to the first Sunday in March, the 2nd, as forecast here in a column on March 4th. I also predicted it would give them the opportunity to allow more time for seeing movies by moving the nominations back a week from where they were this year on January 10th (two weeks earlier than usual), and the Academy has done just that, moving the voting period  back to where it has been in previous years with ballots going out December 27 and due back on January 8th (for 2013 ballots were mailed December 17 and came back January 4).

There were complaints from members that there just wasn’t enough time to see all the movies and then vote in that two week Holiday period, especially with so many other distractions of the season. This gives the Academy a lot more breathing room in making nominations but still allows for a six-week period between the announcement and the due date of February 25 for final ballots. This is important because it gives the public a lot more time to see the nominated movies and pleases exhibitors who have two extra weeks to exploit those nominations. Read More »

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Are Winter Olympic Games Forcing 2014 Oscars Into March?

Pete Hammond

Are the Oscars moving even later into March next year? All signs say ‘yes’ and the Academy would be wise to announce this sooner than later.

Despite annual (and always wrong) media speculation (including a recent column in a well-knownOscars 2013 show biz trade) that the Academy Awards are planning to move a month earlier into January insiders have repeatedly told me the Academy’s Board has no taste for that, and as at least one former top officer in the organization told me over the weekend, contractually they can’t  do it.

Though they haven’t yet announced any dates for the next Oscar race, the schedule of the Winter Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia February 7 through the 23rd puts a big crimp in any plans to keep the Oscars even on in its current berth on the last Sunday of February where it would run smack into the Closing Night ceremonies. In the past when this has come up the Academy has always moved the Oscar show to the first Sunday in March which would be on the 2nd next year. Quite frankly there is nowhere else for the show to go. Do the math.

With the Super Bowl already claiming Sunday February 2nd and the Olympics taking the remaining three Sundays, the earliest date available would be January 26th and every source with whom I have spoken tells me that is the date CBS is claiming for the Grammys next year (moving two weeks earlier than their February 10, 2013 date). Also getting the message are the major show biz Guilds which have all already staked out their 2014 dates and sprayed the territory. Read More »

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OSCARS: Debate Still Rages About Seth MacFarlane – Is There A Double Standard At Play?

By | Thursday February 28, 2013 @ 4:06pm PST
Pete Hammond

The debate rages on about this year’s Oscars. Not about the movies that won or lost, but the host. Poor Seth MacFarlane just can’t seem to catch a break. If you believe what you read he is either a misogynist, a gay basher, an anti-Semite hiding behind a stuffed teddy bear, or someone who is just downright disrespectful to Abraham Lincoln. And you thought hosting the Oscars was going to be all fun and glamour?

Somewhere along the way we seem to be losing our sense of humor. It’s just an awards show, folks.  Even if you don’t think he was funny — and apparently many don’t — it’s no reason to completely eviscerate the guy. For fronting a show that was alternately class (Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, musical numbers) and crass, he has been getting bashed from the right and the left for his Oscar-night performance where his routines, among  many other charges, have been blasted as sexist (particularly for the musical number, “We Saw Your Boobs” which was meant to be a tasteless parody of a bad Oscar song number). For MacFarlane, who is known for edgy humor, this was relatively mild material. Yet critics like Amy Davidson in the New Yorker called it  his “ugly, sexist, racist Oscars” and his performance, “a series of crudely sexist antics led by a scrubby, self-satisfied Seth MacFarlane”. Ouch. The Anti-Defamation League joined the chorus earlier this week protesting the appearance of MacFarlane’s Ted and what they said was anti-Semitic humor. Yesterday a couple of California female legislators even filed a formal protest with the Academy over what they saw as offensive treatment of women.

It’s ironic that several women are now coming to MacFarlane’s defense, including Victoria A. Brownworth today at the Advocate.com, who said his humor was pointing out Hollywood hypocrisy against women and in fact gave his performance a ringing endorsement. The Academy itself got pro-active in sending press members positive statements about MacFarlane’s Oscar gig, offering a strong defense. All of this brings up the point that perhaps a “double standard” was at work here when compared to the media’s effusive praise for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the two female hosts of this year’s rival show the Golden Globes — even though some of their comedy bits dealt with some of the same subject matter as MacFarlane’s including women’s difficulties with issues of weight. So is there a real double standard at work? Fey and Poehler gets raves, MacFarlane gets vilified. Read More »

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California Lawmakers Join Chorus Of Oscarcast Complaints

By | Wednesday February 27, 2013 @ 7:10pm PST

The Academy leadership may have felt pretty good about the Oscars’ boost in ratings over the 2012 and 2011 ceremonies, but plenty of other folks weren’t too happy with Seth MacFarlane’s hosting. California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, both Democrats who lead the Legislature’s women’s caucus, have written Academy President Hawk Koch and requested that the organization disavow MacFarlane’s behavior. “On Oscar night, when Hollywood seeks to honor its best, Seth MacFarlane’s monologue reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself,” the lawmakers wrote. “From topical jabs about domestic violence to singing about ‘boobs’ during a film’s rape scene, Seth MacFarlane crossed the line from humor to misogyny.” Author and award-winning creator of HBO’s Girls Lena Dunham wasn’t pleased either. In tweets she suggested that critics who claim Anne Hathaway hurt the feminist “cause” should save their “bad attitudes for the ones who aren’t advancing the cause” who “aren’t always, or mostly, women. Case in point: I saw your boobs“.

Related: Nikki Finke’s 2013 Oscars Live Snark

MacFarlane wasn’t the only source of complaints. The always closely watched “In Memorium” homage to people who have died over the past always leaves people out. Read More »

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OSCARS: Red Carpet Live Stream

By | Sunday February 24, 2013 @ 2:00pm PST

Watch the 85th Academy Awards red carpet parade right here on Deadline beginning at 2:30 PM Pacific via AP’s live feed. Later on we’ll post a full fashion report by Deadline contributor Monica Corcoran Harel. To watch click over to the jump. Autoplay is off for the stream, but the commercial plays when your browser refreshes. We’ll try to get that fixed. Read More »

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OSCARS: Hammond’s Best Director & Picture Picks

By | Sunday February 24, 2013 @ 8:11am PST

Deadline Hollywood Columnist Pete Hammond talks with ENTV’s Brian Corsetti about who he thinks will capture Oscar’s biggest prizes: Best Picture and Best Director. One film has dominated the precursor awards, but its director/star can’t win for director, leaving a race between two frontrunners whose outcome could reprise a … Read More »

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OSCARS: Picks For Acting Categories

By | Saturday February 23, 2013 @ 12:09pm PST

Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond talks with ENTV’s Brian Corsetti about his picks for likely winners in the four Oscar acting categories. All the precursor awards suggest that a favorite has largely locked up the win in two categories, Pete says. But the other two categories remain wide open, … Read More »

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Oscars: Original, Adapted Screenplay Picks

By | Saturday February 23, 2013 @ 9:09am PST

Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond talks with ENTV’s Brian Corsetti about his picks for the likely winners in the hotly contested Oscar races for Best Original and Best Adapted screenplays. With scripts for several highly regarded Best Picture nominees duking it out, Pete has a dark-horse candidate he … Read More »

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