America was most likely so fed up with the “Will They Won’t They” back-and-forth push and pull asking if the Writer’s Guild would actually manage to find a deal in time to save the Academy Awards that it seems they didn’t bother watching. According to preliminary reports the 80th Annual Academy Awards, which in case you were among those who didn’t know, aired on ABC last night, was the lowest rated ceremony of the 80 year history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The official “least watched” Oscar™ ceremony was 2003 – the year we invaded Iraq and the year before Michael Moore turned the stage into his personal pulpit of hate and vitriol.
Last night’s ceremony is headed into the books with the potential of having garnered (no pun intended Jennifer) fewer than 33 million viewers. That’s just over 10 percent of the entire population of the United States. Assuming that only 30 million people watched 29,999,999 were actually in the Kodak Theatre leaving one poor fool in Pocatello, Idaho to have to suffer through the show because the batteries in his remote were dead and he couldn’t get to the store to buy new ones.
Okay, so there were 29,999,998 people at the Kodak Theatre and that fool in Idaho had one compatriot – me. I can understand why no one wanted to watch the show. The jokes were lame at best – including the one Jon Stewart made after John Revolting – er – Travolta made presented the Oscar for Best Song. Steward returned to the stage and said,
Will the owner of a Boeing 707 parked on Hollywood Boulevard please report to your plane. Your landing lights are on.
With that, Travolta raced back on stage claiming the offending vehicle, after which Stewart said, “Don’t worry, it’s a hybrid.” In the famous words of the late Jackie Gleason, “Har de har har.”
It’s one thing to be recognized by one’s peers for your work. It’s entirely another when no one in America really gives a flying rat’s posterior.
Nielsen reported this morning that the numbers for last night’s ceremony weren’t completely counted but the show’s 21.9 rating and 33 share was ignominious. A more than glaring commentary on how much America has really come to not only dislike Hollywood but distrust the industry that is supposed to be entertaining us. The influence Hollywood once had on America has diminished greatly. Even Jack Nicholson, who usually is nominated for something, at the very least a trip to the grocery store, looked pathetically out of place introducing a simple montage of the 79 films that have been named Best Picture. The montage was bland and performed the sole function of time-waster. Following that, Jack was not heard from again. I guess not being nominated for anything this year gives him the ability to empathize with his heroine, Hillary Clinton.
Isn’t it just a little bit strange that the Writer’s strike that had been going on since November 2007 and that had derailed the Golden Globes into a Reader’s Theatre News Conference Production, suddenly came to a glorious and happy ending for all? More than likely, AMPAS secretly told the WGA that if they didn’t get their lazy butts back behind their typewriters that the WGA could forget ever again having writers honored by the academy. It’s amazing how much pull AMPAS really has in Holly-weird.
But even with all the money and power behind it, the 80th Academy Awards was a pathetic, lame flop. Viewers were promised a “class act show” that was to be reminiscent of the days of Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. Looks like most of modern America has forgotten who Hope and Carson were and really don’t care that much about George Clooney or Matt Damon unless they’re plotting with Brad Pitt to rip off another Las Vegas casino mogul. Every guild had people working 24/7 to get the Kodak Theatre and the Hollywood and Highland district ready for Hollywood’s biggest night. People were rushing to make good on a promise that in the end, no one bothered to watch.
So all that rush to put on a master show went for basically nothing.