Three Oscar hosts aren’t enough. We need one more for the telecast’s usual overtime hour.
Actually, hosts no longer matter because that’s not why people tune in today. There aren’t any more Bob Hopes, Johnny Carsons, or Billy Crystals. What Academy members don’t get is that audience interest is driven by best picture & best acting noms. People want to see boldface names reacting in the audience to whatever’s happening on stage. They only care who wins if they’ve seen, enjoyed & are rooting for some of the nominees.
The way to boost Oscar ratings is to nominate some films people have seen. If the Academy’s far-flung members understood that, they’d have given best picture nods to mainstream hits like SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS & NO TIME TO DIE (pictured – Daniel Craig). Hollywood might not have survived 2021 without those audience pleasers.
By the Academy expanding this year’s best picture noms to 10 from “up to 10,” there actually was room for one or two broad appeal films. Instead, voters shoehorned into the best picture race a few more largely unseen, but critically applauded titles. Last year’s 9.85 million viewers, Oscar’s lowest ratings ever, will likely look good vs. this year’s total.