The Oscars are taking a long time to find a producer. Why is the top job so hard to fill?
Before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences locks in 2010’s Oscar host (Hugh Jackman could still return), they must first find a producer, and word around town is they’re having a difficult time. The Academy denies this is the case — ”I don’t think anybody needs to go into panic mode yet,” says spokeswoman Leslie Unger. But with the March 7 Oscar telecast only five months away, and given that the gig is usually sewn up by late September, the urgency is clear. This year’s producers, Dreamgirls alums Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, are busy with new film projects and won’t be returning, while other high-profile producers have also turned down the job. Why? For starters, the show takes a huge amount of time, requires the producers to call in a lot of favors, and is often remembered only for what went wrong. ”[The producer] has to stop whatever else they are doing for little reward and a lot of work,” says one insider. Add to that this year’s challenge of making the highly scrutinized expanded Best Picture category a success. ”You’re either going to spend all your time defending the new rule or trying to prove that it’s a good idea,” says another Oscar source. Who’s going to give up their day job for that? We’ll have to wait and see.
— Nicole Sperling
Rihanna’s very first tweet? Her long-awaited new album is dropping Nov. 23.
Tuesday-night tweets seem to be the new trend for big announcements: First, on Aug. 4, Paula Abdul turned to her Twitter account to break the news that she was leaving American Idol. This week, on Oct. 13, Rihanna tweeted, simply: ”The Wait Is Ova. Nov 23 09.” While reps would not confirm details of the album, one insider tells EW that Nov. 23 looks to be an accurate release date, but that the album won’t be titled The Wait Is Ova. It will be Rihanna’s fourth, her first since 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad and her more recent Chris Brown problems. Sean Kingston told EW.com last month that he submitted three songs for the CD. ”The people over there, everybody liked the songs, so we’ll see where it goes,” he said.
— Kerrie Mitchell