LA Times’ Patrick Goldstein believes that the choice of the genius Ricky Gervais (and AD’s number one choice to host the Oscars) has now given all of the heat to the Globes where there otherwise wouldn’t be any. Here’s Goldstein:
Until today, the Golden Globes broadcast has always felt vaguely tacky, the award show equivalent of network stunt casting, except that instead of Oprah showing up on “30 Rock,” it was the likes of Cher, Melanie Griffith, Madonna, Sharon Stone and Hugh Grant, not to mention Calista Flockhart, all taking home major acting awards. I’m not saying that there haven’t been many worthy winners through the years, but the Globes have had a hard time shaking a reputation as a Pia Zadora-friendly organization. If I didn’t have a professional obligation, I couldn’t imagine ever watching the show.
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But after hearing that Gervais has signed on to host the show, which airs Jan. 17 on NBC, I’m already setting my TiVo. And if the selection of Gervais is a huge victory for the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which puts on the Globes each year, it’s a crushing blow to the Academy Awards, which desperately needs some heat of its own to propel its show back into the must-watch-TV category.
It’s a sad commentary on the state of decision-making at the academy that after the Gervais news surfaced, the response from the first insider I spoke to there was: “Ricky who?”
First, can we make sure that he just didn’t hear Goldstein?¬† Either way, and you all know how much we love and adore the “little fat man with the pug-nosed face,” I don’t think this thing is irreversible. Yes, it makes the Globes suddenly something to watch and it ups the ante for AMPAS.¬† But the shows aren’t in competition with each other. They compliment each other. The Oscars are still the second biggest television event after the Super Bowl. The Globes don’t come anywhere near that; they are more on the level of the American Idol finale, especially since they tape-delay for the West Coast, which diffuses them greatly as an awards event; all of the people who care to watch will already found out who won – not only do we report the winners instantly, but every other news outlet will as well.
But, if we decided to play the game and talk about who might upstage Gervais? Goldstein did some digging at the Academy and got Tom Sherak on the phone:
He wasn’t as forthcoming about the academy’s pick for its own host, saying the choice was in the hands of the show’s new producers, Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman. My own sources say that Hugh Jackman, who was a success last year, especially in terms of presiding over a show that boosted its flagging ratings, is a no-go, with Jackman not wanting to make a return engagement. The Oscar producers are leaning toward a multiple-host format, which would team a pair of hosts who would have different strengths and different generational appeal.
The rough plan would be to look for hosts who have a strong comedy background as well as Hollywood credibility. Even though these particular candidates aren’t available, the academy would love to team someone like Steve Martin with someone like Tina Fey, which would appeal to several disparate audience (and academy) constituencies. Who knows? It might be fun to see two comics with different sensibilities, who could write their own material, handling the emcee duties.
Tina Fey would amount to half of the country tuning out, I’m afraid, unless they just want to draw left-leaning viewers (don’t jump down my throat – you know how stupid people can be).
Gervais was my Ace in the hole. ¬† I guess I’ll stick with my main man Billy Crystal. I know you all think it’s “too old” but I really believe he had all of the right qualities to make a good host. He’s really funny. He’s warm and friendly, not threatening in any way. He reigned when the Oscars were most successful. And it would piss off every blogger on the net, which would be kind of fun to watch, you have to admit.