Oscars producers: We're bringing entertainment back
February 21st, 2013
05:28 PM ET

Oscars producers: We're bringing entertainment back

The upside to being the prestigious ceremony of the awards season is having the cache, but the downside is that the show can also be seen as stodgy.

Despite efforts to liven it up in recent years, the choice to bring in Anne Hathaway and James Franco for 2011's show backfired, and pulling Billy Crystal off the hosting bench in 2012 was considered safe.

This year, however, with Seth MacFarlane as the master of ceremonies, Oscars producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are trying to keep the night as entertaining as possible.

That much is evident from the packed list of performers. The 85th annual Oscars will boast sets from Adele, Barbra Streisand and Norah Jones. Shirley Bassey is expected to make her Oscars debut during the tribute to James Bond's 50th anniversary, and there will also be a tribute to movie musicals from the past decade.

Cast members from the Oscar-nominated "Les Mis," including Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Samantha Barks, are expected to show off their vocals during that song-filled segment along with Catherine Zeta-Jones ("Chicago") and Jennifer  Hudson ("Dreamgirls").

That's not to mention a routine from host MacFarlane himself, who's rumored to be preparing for a finale number with Kristin Chenoweth.

Meron admits that the heavy focus on music is something of a risk, given that "over the course of many, many years I think people got scared of these big production numbers," he told CNN.

"But we figured out - hopefully– a purpose for having music back on the show and we'll see," he continued. "You know, we hope that people are entertained. I mean, that really is the key thing. We want people to be entertained. And we hope we're going to bring entertainment back to the Oscars."

MacFarlane is one key to that puzzle, and Meron has full faith in his abilities to lead the night.

"He has all of the elements of the quintessential host in the tradition of Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal," Meron said, as Zadan added that MacFarlane "falls right into that line because of all the many diverse things that he's capable of doing."

But as first-time producers of the Oscars, the duo aren't worrying about MacFarlane that much.

"[F]orget about Seth! What about us?" Zadan joked. "No, we're all sort of going at it for the first time, and we're approaching it in a fresh way because we don't know any better, and so we don't know that we're making mistakes. We're looking at as, 'What is the Oscar show that we want to see?' And, 'what is the Oscar show of our fantasies?' And we're creating the show that we would fantasize about seeing. And that's really the truth."

"I think we're at the point where we have such tunnel vision on the show itself that we don't, can't focus on nerves or excitement," Meron said. "We just want to do the best job that we can."

The 85th annual Oscars coverage will kick off on ABC Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. janine

    chris...wedding–can't find it

    February 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hey

    got home at 4am too received this wonderful prissy story

    February 25, 2013 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. I'm a goldie...

    and your an ice box-i chose goldie.

    February 25, 2013 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. I'm starved...

    why would i listen too and evil ice box like her.

    February 25, 2013 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. She is right

    if i'm in a new postion...no more bacon that's for sure...have a fun day

    February 25, 2013 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. MaryAnne's Review

    your a goldie baby at 50 years old and you did not stop your previous movie yet.....let me know if you need further help with the Oscars–

    February 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MaryAnne

    grace kelly won 2 oscars and the other one did not win any.

    February 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jane M.

    we have too find out if popular is good or not.....its the only way...

    February 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GoldieSeptember.

    can't do this show....stepping out....way too boring when i could be dancing my azz off and meet some hot looking

    February 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GoldieSeptember.

    can't do this show....stepping out....too tiring when i could be dancing my azz off and meet hunky gold statues

    February 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. the oscars

    the show is way too long...i just hope ben affleck wins...he's a honey bunny slope!

    February 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 50 Year Old Goldman Baby

    not bad....see you in september...

    February 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |


    February 24, 2013 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. TheOscars

    how can i vote

    February 24, 2013 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Decrease What

    i would NOT watch it for that long - way too long.

    February 24, 2013 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  16. thanks

    further decrease.

    February 24, 2013 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  17. Please

    I would never watch the oscars....i could be out with a great guy for the evening...please the oscars..the show is way too long they need to cut it down too less then 2 hours them maybe i'll survive but othewise the show sucks.

    February 24, 2013 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  18. Tool

    give me the report the summary for the last 2 days

    February 24, 2013 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  19. astrangepresenceinmyunderpants

    Mommy? Do farts have lumps in 'em?

    February 22, 2013 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  20. I Believe I Can Fly

    I made a film once where, among other things, I peed on a 15 year old girl. Where's my academy award?

    R. Kelly

    February 22, 2013 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  21. Whispering Eye

    They could liven things up by presenting anatomically correct Oscar statuettes.

    February 22, 2013 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Iron Lady

      Oh, I wish my Oscar had a golden wiener,
      That is what I’d truly like to see.
      ‘Cause if my Oscar had a golden wiener,
      I would plunge it deep inside of me.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  22. NOTHIM

    the oscars will be magic....

    February 22, 2013 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  23. Oscar

    heard nothing–its works.

    February 22, 2013 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  24. wilma

    those statues made out of cheese look gross.

    February 21, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriumphTheInsultComicDog

      Agreed. They would look much better if they were made out of poop.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P. (Mothers against poo)

      I would certainly not want a fecal statue on MY mantle!

      February 22, 2013 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • TriumphTheInsultComicDog

      Poop statues add beauty and a lovely aroma to any room. They are also great conversation pieces. You should try one on your mantle. You could find it wonderful.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Tug Romney

      The academy should have a category for Best Supporting Feces, with the award being a large, sculpted turd wrapped in gold foil to resemble the Oscar.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P. (Mothers against poo)

      I just put one on the Mantle. You were right – it is a real conversation starter. For example I just invited the neighbor over and the first thing she said was 'Is that a turd on your mantle' AMAZING.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • TriumphTheInsultComicDog

      Told you they are

      February 22, 2013 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  25. Fred

    nothing much is better than taking a good nap. naps are good. we pray everyone has happy happy dreams.

    February 21, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  26. going out!!! (truth)

    he gots to start talking or i'm scared it could go 666 again....have a nice evening!!!

    February 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  27. i guess.

    i'd rather go for drinks and have s-x with my man....much more fun

    February 21, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • tehehehe

      Could I meet you for drinks, and have s-x with your man, too? lol

      February 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Old Time Freddie

    They should open the show with a old fashion dance routine like they did years ago. Also, they should bring back older actors that were in the Oscar nominated movies together to act as presenters. For example, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty who both starred in "Bonnie and Clyde", Robert DiNero, Al Pachino, James Caan(The Godfather), Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight(Midnight Cowboy),, etc. Bring back some nostalgia!!

    February 21, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  29. oscars no way

    way too long...i'd rather be out on a HOT DATE.

    February 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  30. gidget

    so excited – Oscars should be a national holiday. If Seth is half as funny as he was at the nomination show, should be great!

    February 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  31. why not?

    oscars is one of the best shows on television and i play to be there for it! it should be a howling night. i'm generally a quiet person and need this type of night.

    February 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  32. NoJudgement

    just a night of quiet with no issues.....this should be one of the best oscars yet!

    February 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Rockin Performance

    it should be hopping–no bitter and just a great night of fun.

    February 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  34. sue

    i can't wait to be the oscars it should be another great memory

    February 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  35. jean

    can't wait for oscar

    February 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Event

    very excited for the event it will a loud one that night.

    February 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Oscars

    can't wait too be there.

    February 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |

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