“Younger viewers live their lives pushing the envelope, breaking rules and bending rules,” Manhattan ad exec Shari Anne Brill tells The Envelope‘s Scott Collins. “As long as the Oscars are perceived to have a certain rigidity, they’re not going to be relatable to young people.” Adds [publicist Howard] Bragman: ‘The problem with the shows is that they lack any kind of spontaneity or buzz factor.'”
Collin’s piece suggests/contends that the show may get higher ratings if Borat‘s Sacha Baron Cohen is given two or three minutes worth of microphone time. This is because his “ribald acceptance speech at the Golden Globes…was perhaps the only buzz-worthy moment in a night otherwise deemed fairly dull. And though he may not have been single-handedly responsible, ratings climbed too: The telecast delivered a total of 20 million viewers, up 6% compared with the previous year, according to Nielsen Media Research.”
Of course, the only way Cohen would have any real impact would be if he was hosting the show, which he’s not — Ellen DeGeneres is. I’ve said this a couple of times over the past year, and here goes again: if the Oscar show producers want their stately presentation to have spontaneity or buzz factor or simple hilarity, get Sarah Silverman to host it. She killed at the IFP Spirit Awards last year, and her comic sensibility is right in the under-40 groove — provocative, nervy, deadpan/put-on.