Oprah to Host Oscars?


Yesterday, news (or is it rumors?) began circulating, courtesy of the Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker, that "solid Motion Picture Academy sources" are seriously considering tapping Oprah Winfrey to host this year's Academy Awards. While the official response is that nothing has been decided yet, such a matchup would make pretty good business sense all around. After all, Oprah is still one of the most famous people on the planet and, regardless how lackluster her new television network's initial ratings have been, she has 25 years' worth of dedicated fans who can realistically be expected to tune in. That has to matter to the Oscars' organizers, who are likely still carrying the scars from last year's attempt at injecting a bit of youthful exuberance with hosts James "I just smoked backstage" Franco and Anne "Look how many costume changes I can do" Hathaway. (The 37.6 million people who watched the Oscars last year represented a 10 percent drop from the year before.) And speaking of the slow-starting Oprah Winfrey Network, what better way to ramp up excitement than by having the network's namesake headline the most important awards ceremony of the year? (Not to mention talk of a possible OWN behind-the-scenes or post-Oscar exclusive.) Whoever ends up getting the nod, chances are it'll be a woman, considering the Oscars have only had two female solo hosts to date: Whoopi and Ellen. [Reuters]