Oscar 2017: No Producer, No Host–Getting Late…….

The 89th Oscars telecast takes place in four months, but there is still neither a producer nor a host lined up to lead the show.
The longest the Academy has gone in recent years before naming a producer was in 2009, when it waited until October  21 to announce Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic.
Academy spokesperson Teni Melidonian assured Variety: “We’ve had great conversations with several potential producers, and we’re excited to make our announcement shortly.  The Academy and Oscar production teams are already working to create paths for an incoming producer to get started.”

This lack of action is  a growing source of agitation inside ABC, which just renewed its deal to broadcast the awards show through 2028, and has lobbied publicly for its late-night host, Jimmy Kimmel, to be handed the emcee duties.

But sources familiar with the situation say that Academy leaders Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Dawn Hudson appear to be torn over the tone that the 2017 show should take following this year’s “Oscars So White” controversy.

According to Variety, the leadership is preoccupied with an internal debate about the telecast, whether it should return to the starry grandeur and spectacle of past shows — like during the three-year run of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as exec producers — or stick with the clip-driven approach of this year’s telecast.

This year’s nominated films are likely to be mostly smaller independent films that won’t have as much appeal to casual viewers. The trend line over the years for Oscar ratings is indisputable: The more esoteric the top nominees, the lower the viewership.

Whoever takes the reins as producer will be in a mad scramble to assemble a behind-the-scenes team, design a set and book presenters.

In past years, much of that advance work was completed by late summer or early fall in order to give producers and hosts as much time as possible to work out comedic and tribute segments. That was thanks to a three-year deal that kept Zadan and Meron in place. That pact was never publicly disclosed but was understood to be in place when the duo were announced just a few months after one Oscars show as producers of the next. But the Broadway vets are believed to be uninterested in returning, given the multiple projects currently on their plate.

Nor is the team of David Hill and Reginald Hudlin that oversaw this year’s show with host Chris Rock is viable for a second time around. Their production was met with mixed reviews.

Kimmel received stellar reviews for hosting the Primetime Emmy Awards in September, and Disney/ABC Television Group chief Ben Sherwood saying in September that he was “very hopeful” Kimmel would be tapped to host the Oscars.

Representatives for ABC and Kimmel declined to comment.