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September 24, 2008

Oscar loves Gervais?


Having already slagged on last year's Oscar telecast today, let us be clear about one thing -- it wasn't Jon Stewart's fault. That guy was working his arse off.

Now that he's out of the game, at least for the upcoming February, let's just blame uber-Oscar-producer Gil Cates for the flat, montage-a-minute show. For the sake of argument, OK?

But enough with the finger pointing (not really, we'll come back to it later). We've learned that there's a new team in town, first-time Oscar shepherds Laurence Mark and Bill Condon, and we're psyched to see what they come up with.

Could that plan also involve Emmy show savior Ricky Gervais?

Hollywood Insider says it could.

We already pegged Gervais as a potential Emmy host. In fact, in the heat of the moment -- our Live Blogging Extravaganza! -- we threw out suggestions ranging from the Emmy-winning funny man to Josh Groban to Don Rickles to a house plant to take over Emmy duties next year. Any or all would be more entertaining than the leaden quintet that we and 12.3 million of you unlucky folks at home had to endure.

The idea of a Gervais-led Oscarcast is an intriguing one. That gig has proven to be a no-win proposition for anybody who isn't Billy Crystal, Steve Martin or Ellen DeGeneres. Is it worth the risk for Gervais? That might be what his camp is pondering today as they field a slew of exploratory phone calls.



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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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