Oscars producers shifting focus to grab more ratings

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According to the New York Times, those behind the upcoming 90th Academy Awards, which will be held on March 4, want the focus of the Oscars to be about movies, and not so much about political movements.

According to the report, concern inside ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about ratings mean the focus of the event will switch to “the sunnier side” and be about “the glamour” of the event, as they feel that is why people choose to tune in, anyway.

From the Times: “We want to make it as entertaining as possible — reverential and respectful but also fun and emotional,” said Jennifer Todd, one of the lead producers of the Academy Awards, which will be hosted for the second year in a row by Jimmy Kimmel. “The Oscars should be a spectacle. Fun and funny and great performances.”

“It should also be a giant commercial for the movie business, which we all need to keep going,” Ms. Todd said, noting that the show would emphasize the 90th-anniversary milestone.

According to the report, Jennifer Neal, an E! executive vice president, said viewers “expressed wanting to hear about other subjects” than the various social and political subjects, “including fashion and entertainment.”

The report continues: Whenever stars use the platform to support progressive causes and make political statements, large numbers of viewers turn the channel, according to academy insiders, who cite minute-by-minute Nielsen data for past shows.

The report indicates the Academy Awards is trying to avoid a ratings “disaster” like the one the Grammy’s experienced, as the Oscar telecast generates some 80 percent of the academy’s $136.3 million annual revenue.

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