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February 24, 2009

Oscar likes the youngsters

84981781 The addition of young heartthrobs to the Oscar lineup looked, to most of us paying attention, like a desperate grab for viewers in the advertiser-coveted demographics. In other words, those 18 to 49 years old.

So did the "Twilight" hunk Robert Pattinson, singer Miley Cyrus and actors like Amanda Seyfried and the "High School Musical" kids serve that purpose? (Because, honestly, that could've been anybody presenting awards -- Pattinson and Seyfried -- and singing in an overstuffed musical number -- Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens).

Sunday's telecast of the "81st Annual Academy Awards" posted a "12.1 rating in adults 18 to 49, the second lowest in at least 20 years, beating only last year's 10.2 rating," according to the L.A.Times.

There could be far more effective or tangible ways to age-down this ceremony, says Carpetbagger, by giving young producers a shot at the job. More contemporary music, nods to digital culture. He even has the first suggestion: Stew from the rock-pop-funk band Negro Problem and brain trust behind the Tony-winning musical, "Passing Strange."

Some critics have said the Academy should just accept that the Oscars are becoming a niche show, even though the three-and-a-half-hour live program rated better than the recent premiere of "American Idol." We say, keep rejiggering the thing and maybe it'll get more interesting. It had to change, and change it did. That needs to be an ongoing commitment. Now, go and do more.

And note to the Academy: Pattinson can sing. He really can!

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Comments

Randy

If they insist on nominating smaller movies, they need to move to March so that more people can see the movies and it won't be such a niche show. People do care about seeing the movies that are considered the best by the Academy but they can't just give them a month to see all of them.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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