This past Monday morning, Brett Ratner was producing the Oscars (with Don Mischer. And Eddie Murphy was the high profile host. Three days later, Brian Grazer is producing the Oscars (with Don Mischer). And Billy Crystal is the high profile host. Other than that nothing’s new. Clearly the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences felt the need to act with lightning speed in order to turn around the PR debacle which Brett Ratner caused with his unfortunate and offensive comments in several public forums. True, AMPAS tried in the recent past to make the Academy Awards more young, hip, and different with some of their choices. This year due to the chaotic nature of the 84th annual honors already (and it’s only November), the powers-that-be are playing it safe again. At 63 years old and a veteran emcee of the show, Billy Crystal was the obvious choice in this scenario. And he is riding in triumphantly just as he has done in years past. In 1990 Crystal rode to the rescue with his first Oscar hosting gig after the disaster of the previous year’s Allan Carr show (remember that one when Rob Lowe sang with Snow White?) This year history repeats itself and Crystal is back to save the Oscars from …
EXCLUSIVE: A day after the Tony Awards nominations were announced, next comes the naming of the host. It will be … wait for it … Neil Patrick Harris. I’m told Harris will soon be set to host the Tony Awards telecast that CBS will broadcast June 12 from the Beacon Theatre. Harris’s position as the star of one of CBS’ most important comedies, How I Met Your Mother, certainly gave him an inside track, but he hosted two years ago and proved himself to be a versatile performer who did a fine job. Sean Hayes, who will be busy playing Larry Fine in the Farrelly Brothers-directed Three Stooges movie at 20th Century Fox, hosted last year.
For a third year in a row, MTV has gone with an NBC comedy actor for hosting duties at its movie awards. Saturday Night Live co-star Jason Sudeikis will make his debut as host of the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, the awards franchise’s 20th annual edition, which will air live June 5 from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City. Last year, the ceremony was emceed by Parks and Recreation‘s Aziz Ansari, the year before by Sudeikis’ SNL cohort Andy Samberg. Returning as executive producer is Mark Burnett, who also presided over last year’s show, which became an F-bomb fest with more than 100 curse words, prompting MTV to issue an apology the next day.
Justin Timberlake’s previous stints have produced Saturday Night Live classics like Dick In a Box, Mother Lover and Single Ladies and have earned him three Emmy nominations and two wins. Now one of the most popular SNL guest performers has been tapped to return to host the show’s season finale May 21, according to a tweet from the NBC show. Timberlake last hosted the May 9, 2009, episode and also appeared in this season’s season premiere.
At ages 63 and 65, Elton John and Helen Mirren hardly fit the “rookie” label, but the two will make their debuts as hosts on NBC’s Saturday Night Live next month. John will host April 2 and be a musical guest along with Leon Russell. Oscar winner Mirren, who is promoting Arthur, will host April 9 with musical guest Foo Fighters.