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Category: Oprah Winfrey

Can Lady Gaga squash Oprah and Pee-wee Herman at the Emmys?

Lady gaga music newsCan Lady Gaga continue her march toward global domination by conquering Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, Pee-wee Herman and Oprah Winfrey at the Emmy Awards in September? She is nodded in the race for best variety special. It's her first Emmy nomination and she has a decent shot at taking the award home with the flamboyant and ultra-intense "Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour" for HBO.

Lady Gaga has already won five Grammy Awards in her young career. Her most recent album "The Fame Monster" was the backdrop for this concert tour, which has been critically acclaimed and earned more than $227 million, making it one of the biggest in concert history. She was also named Billboard's Artist of the Year for 2010.

To win the Emmy, she will have to overcome one of the most difficult adversaries possible: the Kennedy Center Honors, which won this category last year and has had great success at the Emmys for more than three decades. The most recent edition of the annual celebration of the arts featured tributes to Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Bill T. Jones, Merle Haggard and Jerry Herman (pop/rock, country, dance and Broadway all rolled into one night). The other competitors are "Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On" (a spirited concert performance for New Year's Eve), "Carrie Fisher in Wishful Drinking" (a gutsy, soul-baring one-woman show) and "The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway" (a re-creation of his popular stage schtick).

The ace in the hole for Lady Gaga is that her concert experience is certainly the most energetic and combustible of the works nominated. If voters want to embrace a hot star, she is really the only one in the mix.

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball Tour poster. Credit: HBO


Poll: Who should host the Oscars?

Oprah-host1

Now that we know who the next Oscar telecast producers will be -- veteran TV helmer Don Mischer and film director/producer Brett Ratner -- the big question to solve is who the host(s) will be. I think we can rule out a return by James Franco and Anne Hathaway after the drubbing they took for this year's ceremony.

Mischer was one of the producers of this year's event but has a long history of success with big events on TV, including the Emmy Awards, Super Bowl concerts and Olympic ceremonies. He most certainly learned what to do and most importantly what not to do for his next turn at bat. Ratner has never produced this type of show but has a deep love for film history and a reputation for knowing everybody in the business. Between the two of them, the presenter lineup should be glitzier than ever.

But what about the host or hosts for 2012? Here's a stable of stars associated with either Ratner or Mischer (and a few others for good measure) who might be up for the challenge.

Whoopi2HUGH JACKMAN -- Hosted to great acclaim in 2009 but has turned down the job since. Ratner directed him in "X-Men: The Last Stand," so he might just be the guy to convice him to come back.

BEN STILLER -- Has been an Oscar presenter on many occasions (remember his makeup presentation in "Avatar" makeup?) and had great success presenting/hosting on many live awards events. Ratner directed him in the upcoming film "Tower Heist" with Eddie Murphy.

KEVIN SPACEY -- Might be an unconventional choice to some but he is a great live performer who sings and does impressions (plus, he's a two-time Oscar winner). Ratner produced two of his films ("Horrible Bosses" & "21").

BILLY CRYSTAL -- An eight-time much-loved host of the Oscars who has turned down the job pretty much ever since. With a slowing career, this might be the right time for him to accept the offer again. He and Ratner share the same agent.

ELLEN DEGENERES -- Saying it was her lifelong dream, she hosted the ceremony in 2007. Mischer worked with her as host of the Emmys in 2001.

WILL SMITH -- If they want an international superstar to appeal globably, he might be a top choice. He would certainly bring a strong energy to the show. He and Ratner share the same agent.

JIMMY FALLON -- If ABC could swallow the fact that his show is on NBC, he might be suggested by Mischer because they worked together very well on the 2010 Emmys together.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS -- Always excels at these sorts of live events, having hosted the Tonys, Emmys and many other TV shows.

WILL FERRELL -- One of the top comedic actors working today and has extensive live experience from his "Saturday Night Live" days.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE -- With a film career at full speed, he also brings a wealth of live performing to the game. He has hosted/presented on the MTV Awards, ESPY Awards, "Saturday Night Live," and many other events. Would definitely appeal to a younger crowd.

OPRAH WINFREY -- Many speculated that she could be the type of host to bring all generations together plus draw a worldwide audience. With the announcement of her receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award this year, they may not want her hosting as well.

JON STEWART, STEVE MARTIN, ALEC BALDWIN, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CHRIS ROCK -- Maybe they want to go to the well with a previous host just so they know what they're getting.

-- Tom O'Neil

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Photo: Oprah Winfrey is getting an honorary Oscar in November. Will she host next year? Credit: Reuters. Whoopi Goldberg would be a known quantity hosting the Oscars. Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences


Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones to receive honorary Oscars

Oprah winfrey 
Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones and pioneering makeup artist Dick Smith were chosen Tuesday night by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive  the Governors Awards. Jones and Smith are the recipients of the Honorary Award, while Winfrey will be presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

The awards will be handed out at the Academy's 3rd Annual Governors Awards dinner Nov. 12 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.

Jones, 80, the second African American to earn a lead actor Oscar nomination, made his Broadway debut in 1957 and his film debut in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 classic "Dr. Strangelove." He's earned two Tony Awards for lead actor in a drama for 1969's "The Great White Hope" and for 1987's "Fences." He became the second African American to earn a best actor Oscar nomination -- after Sidney Poitier -- for reprising his role in 1970's "The Great White Hope." Besides lending his booming baritone as the voice of Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" movies, Jones has appeared in such films as "Coming to America," "Field of Dreams" and the original "Conan the Barbarian." He was on Broadway this season with Vanessa Redgrave in "Driving Miss Daisy."

Talk show host/producer/philanthropist Winfrey, 57, is one of the most influential women in the world. Besides her 25 years hosting her own show and now operating the OWN television network, Winfrey's philanthropic endeavors include Oprah's Angel Network, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. An acclaimed actress, she was nominated for supporting actress for her film debut in Steven Spielberg's 1985 drama, "The Color Purple."

The 89-year-old Smith is known as "the godfather of makeup" and started his career in 1945 as NBC's first makeup person. Among his classic films are 1972's The Godfather," 1973's "The Exorcist" and 1976's "Taxi Driver." He won the Oscar for 1984's "Amadeus." Smith also trained such contemporary makeup artists as Rick Baker, Carl Fullerton and Greg Cannom.

The Honorary Award is given to an individual for "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy."

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is given to an individual in the motion picture industry "whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry."

Earlier in the evening, Tom Sherak was reelected to his third term as president of the academy by the Board of Governors as expected.

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--Susan King

Photo of Oprah Winfrey by George Burns/PR Newswire


Do you think Oprah Winfrey should host the Oscars? [Poll]

Oprah
The report that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may want Oprah Winfrey to host the Oscars is not going over well with our forum posters. Below are some sample comments. 

Eoin Daly: Big mistake because she would not entertain like her fellow talk show women. Ellen is known for her comedy.

doul15: Ellen didn't even do that well and she's a comedian. Oprah would be terrible.

iskolar: Unless she gives freebies to the whole Oscar audience at the course of the whole ceremony, then I don't see her working as the host.

oscarnutlen: Terrible choice .... Do I really have to endure presenters such as Gayle King, Nate Berjus and Dr. Phil just to push her OWN Network? You know what to expect from Oprah by now.

seanflynn: She likely would have a better impact on increasing the ratings than anyone else they could get. I have no idea if she would make the show fun, but I'm surprised she doesn't seem obvious, and since ratings is what they are mostly after, why they wouldn't do it.

See more here. And add your own comments and vote in our poll below.

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— Tom O'Neil

Photo: Presenter Oprah Winfrey backstage at the Academy Awards in 2011. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.


Oprah Winfrey as Oscar host?

Oprahstory She's given up her platform as a daytime talk-show host, but could Oprah Winfrey be back in front of a national audience as the host of the Oscars?

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday morning that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has Winfrey "topping the list of candidates" to host next year's show, which ABC will broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in late February. "Academy honchos firmly believe Winfrey could greatly expand the show’s audience," wrote columnist Bill Zwecker. An academy spokeswoman did not immediately reply to a request seeking comment.

Winfrey has a history with ABC, whose affiliates carried her long-running syndicated program before it went off the air earlier this year.

It remains to be seen whether Winfrey would accept the gig, of course; according to Zwecker it could come with preconditions for behind-the-scenes access for OWN, the Winfrey-founded network that has been struggling to attract viewers.

If Winfrey indeed presides at the Kodak, she'll join an elite group, becoming only the third solo female host in Oscar history. (Whoopi Goldberg has hosted four times and Ellen DeGeneres once.)

A Winfrey hosting would mark the latest attempt to expand the audience for the show; organizers attempted to draw a younger audience by choosing James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host the telecast this year. Winfrey appeared as a presenter at the 2011 ceremony, handing out the statuette for best documentary.

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-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Oprah Winfrey. Credit: John Gress / Reuters.


Will Emmy queen Oprah reclaim her crown?

Oprah Winfrey newsIn 1999, after Oprah Winfrey won the Emmy for best talk show host six times, she yanked herself from competition. One year later, she removed "The Oprah Winfrey Show" from the race for best talk show after a record nine victories.

Now that her syndicated show is over, will Oprah's next program on her own cable network rejoin the top Emmy contests? It's not an outlandish question. In past years, at the prime-time Emmys, Candice Bergen and John Larroquette removed themselves from competition after repetitive wins, but then they rejoined the race after they left, respectively, "Murphy Brown" and "Night Court."

Whatever happens at Oprah's next show, her staff will continue to compete for their work. She always encouraged them participate at the Emmys. At next month's Daytime Emmys, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has five nominations: best director, lighting, makeup, technical direction and multiple camera editing.

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: NBC


Television Academy Honors to hail 8 TV programs 'with a conscience'

Oprah Men

On May 5, the fourth annual Television Academy Honors will salute eight programs that have demonstrated the ability of TV to significantly improve people's lives and attitudes. The star-studded event will be hosted by Dana Delany ("Body of Proof") at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The eight programs exemplifying "TV with a conscience" were aired by ABC, DirecTV, ESPN, HBO, NBC and Showtime and in syndication and deal with such important issues as sexual abuse and assault, racism, mental health and trauma, teen pregnancy, autism, living with a life-threatening disease and good nutrition in the fight against childhood obesity. Below are descriptions of the eight TV programs from the news release issued by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

"The 16th Man" – The documentary tells the emotional story of the end of apartheid in South Africa, the start of Nelson Mandela's new government with its goal of racial unity, and what the South African rugby team's victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup meant to the country's healing process. With narration by Morgan Freeman, the program educates viewers on how Mandela used the sport of rugby to make a deeply divided, distressed nation whole again when traditional politics failed, and how the 1995 Rugby World Cup win became the turning point in South Africa's history.

"The Big C: Taking the Plunge" – In the Season 1 finale of "The Big C," Cathy Jamison (Laura Linney) finally informs her family of the life-threatening cancer diagnosis she had kept secret, and after wavering on treatments, opts for a risky procedure. In this compelling episode, Cathy examines the taboo nature of her own mortality while bravely transcending denial to acceptance of living with her disease. "The Big C" explores the critical need for all, whether facing a medical diagnosis or merely getting older, to live life every day as though one is dying the next.

"Friday Night Lights: I Can't"– One of America's most acclaimed family drama series tackles a difficult situation that teens and adults face every day: unwanted pregnancy. As Becky (Madison Burge) faces a heartbreaking decision and seeks support, information and advice from friends and total strangers, the episode delves into the human emotion surrounding abortion with honesty and grace, never succumbing to the politically charged emotion that usually overwhelms the dialogue around this controversial issue.

"Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" – Hosted by celebrity chef, bestselling author and food activist Jamie Oliver, the Emmy Award-winning docu-reality series proves a television show can create a movement.  The series is set in Huntington, W.V., named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the most nutritionally unhealthy areas in America.  Oliver works to help people switch from fast and processed food to fresh foods, both in the schools and at home.  With the success of Huntington behind him, Oliver's ready for a bigger challenge -- help the kids and families of the country's second largest city – Los Angeles.

"The Oprah Winfrey Show: 200 Adult Men Who Were Molested Come Forward" – Shattering the stigma of male sexual abuse, 200 men speak out – some for the first time – about the trauma of their own childhood experiences in this special two-part episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." It is estimated that one in every six men has been molested as a child, but this special marks the first time a national television conversation has been held in such depth about male childhood sexual abuse. Fathers, husbands, sons and brothers stand alongside Winfrey and Tyler Perry, and open up like never before about how the abuse continues to affect them, in the hope of offsetting the stigma of male sexual abuse and open a "door to freedom" for help and healing for themselves and others.

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