The Academy Awards keeps tacking on the talent: Producers recently announced a move to double up the “Best Picture” from 5 to 10 nominees, and now, it has two hosts: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, whose combined comic genius will blow up the opening number.
Baldwin and Martin, a repeat Oscar host, will tag team the ceremony, set for March 7 on ABC. Producer Adam Shankman told the AP: “Very early early on, we talked about a pairing as part of our concept of the show, having tradition and also freshness walking hand in hand. Steve anchors it in so much tradition and Alec … besides being a former Oscar nominee, he is just hot, hot, hot right now.”
Two hosts, you say?! For one, it’s nothing new: In 1987, the coveted hosting gig was shared by Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase and Paul Hogan of “Crocodile Dundee” fame. But even for the Oscars, which has made some especially bad format changes — like last year’s failed attempt to have past winners praise nominees — this move is remarkably shrewd.
Baldwin and Martin — combined age: 115 years — should attract scores of Boomers, younger generations who have crushes on Martin and diehard “30 Rock” fans who can’t get enough of Baldwin. Plus, everyone else who might tune in for the monologue and then fall asleep during the smug Hollywood backslapping and boring acceptance speeches.
But they have big shoes to fill following Hugh Jackman’s spectacular job hosting in 2009. Under his watch, ratings actually increased with 36.3 million viewers tuning in. That’s in the ballpark of an “American Idol” finale audience.
Another surefire way to grab ratings? Recruit more A-listers to present at the show — and walk the all-important red carpet — and also shave time off the broadcast with less bloated interludes. Also: Please don’t snub “The Hurt Locker” for a best-picture nomination. That would be injustice!
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.