Shortly after the official announcement that Bruce Cohen (American Beauty) and Don Mischer would produce the 2011 Oscars, rumor leaked that the Academy was considering moving the awards ceremony to January. The events have never taken place prior to the last week of February (2009’s February 22nd airdate was the earliest), but the Academy Board of Governors may want to challenge the Golden Globes as January’s premiere awards ceremony, as well as get the jump on the SAG Awards (January 30th) and the BAFTAs (February 13). More after the jump:
Such a move would significantly compact awards season in limiting the window for voters to view such late December contenders as the Coen brothers’ True Grit, Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, and Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine. To combat this, a January date may require earlier release of DVD screeners, which is problematic with regard to piracy.
There is also skepticism that the Academy is technologically equipped to manage the bump. One source claimed,
“There’s a ZERO percent chance that the executive team can figure out how to logistically coordinate voting that soon, especially with all the old people who don’t do electronic mail. And especially because [executive director] Bruce Davis won’t do anything that utilizes technology.” [Deadline]
Here’s Cohen/Mischer press release, which still pegs February 27, 2011 as the official date:
BRUCE COHEN AND DON MISCHER TO PRODUCE 83RD ACADEMY AWARDS® TELECAST, AIRING SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011 ON THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK
Mischer to Also Serve as Telecast Director
Academy Award®-winning producer Bruce Cohen and acclaimed television producer/director Don Mischer will produce the 83rd Academy Awards telecast, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced this evening. Mischer will also serve as the telecast’s director. This will be the first involvement with the Oscar® telecast for both men, though the two worked together on the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards event in November of 2010.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic that Bruce and Don have accepted my invitation to produce and direct the 83rd Academy Awards telecast,” said Sherak. “Their work in producing the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards was exceptional and I am confident they will bring their creative vision and extraordinary talent to produce/direct a most memorable Oscar show.”
“I fell in love with the Oscars as an eight-year-old kid, the night my grandmothers let me stay up to watch for the first time,” said Cohen. “It is a dream come true for me to now be producing the show with the phenomenal Don Mischer, whom I’ve had an incredible time working with in the past. We hope to create a show that celebrates what people around the world love about the Academy Awards year after year – the excitement, glamour and tradition of Oscar Night itself.”
“During my previous collaborations with Bruce, I have come to know him as a passionate, smart and creative producer, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to now be working with him on the Oscars,” said Mischer. “As a producer and director, I have always been inspired by the live broadcast of major, high-profile events, and when it comes to that, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Academy Awards. The Oscars are truly ‘appointment’ television; they’re eagerly anticipated around the world, and they offer a unique opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary artists who take us on a journey every time we step into a movie theater.”
Cohen won an Academy Award in 1999 as producer, with Dan Jinks, of Best Picture “American Beauty.” He and Jinks were again nominated in the Best Picture category in 2008 for “Milk.” Cohen’s other movie producing credits include “The Flintstones” (1994), “Down with Love” (2003), “Big Fish” (2003), “The Forgotten” (2004) and “The Nines” (2007). In television, Cohen’s credits include “Pushing Daisies,” “Traveler” and “Side Order of Life,” all as executive producer. He also executive-produced the Emmy-nominated special, “Movies Rock” in 2007, with Mischer.
Mischer’s producer/director credits include “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial,” “The Kennedy Center Honors,” several Super Bowl half-time shows and the opening ceremonies of both Winter and Summer Olympic Games. He has also produced specials with a wide range of musical performers, including Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Beyoncé, Yo Yo Ma and Carrie Underwood. Among the many honors he has earned are 15 Emmy Awards, 10 Directors Guild of America Awards, two NAACP Image Awards and a Peabody Award.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.