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2006 | 2005 | 2004

11 items from 2005


Rock's Oscar Confidence Boost

9 May 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Chris Rock credits his hosting stint at this year's Oscars with proving to critics he's not too foul-mouthed for mainstream audiences. The outspoken funnyman was delighted when bosses picked him to front the 77th Academy Awards ceremony in February because it made him realize America loves rude stand-up routines. Rock, 39, says, "Doing the show got a bit of the chip off my shoulder. When you're a comedian that curses, you're always a second-class citizen to the guys who don't curse. They say, 'You're big, but so-and-so's a family comedian.' It's almost like porn - nobody admits to liking it, but it's a billion-dollar industry." »

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Bernal Skipped Oscars in Banderas Performance Protest

4 March 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal refused to attend Sunday's 77th Academy Awards - because Antonio Banderas replaced singer Jorge Drexler to perform at the ceremony. The Motorcycle Diaries star was horrified when he learned that Uruguay's Drexler wouldn't be able to perform his own "Al Otro Lado Del Rio" on the show "for commercial reasons" and was replaced by Banderas and Carlos Santana. But Bernal was thrilled when Drexler scooped an Oscar for the song and made a point of singing some of the song instead of making a speech. He says, "At the time his song is being honored, all a sudden, that's the moment he does not exist? It was impossible for me to be there as part of the film. I didn't want to pretend the song was not part of it; that would have been like an act of murder in the family. And secondly, the film and the song are about respecting people's identity." »

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41.5 mil 'Baby'-sit with Oscars

1 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Viewership of the 77th Academy Awards fete took a hit this year, probably because of the absence of megahits competing in the top award categories, but the turnout for Sunday's live telecast was still well above Oscar's recent nadir set in 2003. The ceremony that crowned Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby best picture averaged 41.5 million viewers from 8:30-11:45 p.m. ET, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. (Final national ratings for the Oscars won't be available until today.) That was down by 2 million viewers from the crowd drawn last year when Peter Jackson's blockbuster The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King steamrolled to victory as best picture. The top Oscar telecast in recent memory remains the 1998 ceremony that lavished multiple awards on James Cameron's Titanic and drew an average of 55.2 million viewers. »

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Politics will take backseat to art at Sunday's Oscars

25 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Two years ago, an actual war threatened to upstage the Academy Awards as the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq overshadowed Hollywood's annual exercise in glittering prize-giving. Last year, the Great Screener War -- a metaphoric war, but a war nonetheless -- turned the months that led up to the Oscar ceremonies into a pitched battle between the studios and their unruly specialty labels. But this year, it's as if a truce had been declared. With the 77th Annual Academy Awards set for Sunday night, somehow Hollywood finds itself at the end of a kinder, gentler Oscar season where, much to the press' disappointment, potential controversies evaporated into thin air. Having spent much of his tenure as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences attempting to stomp out the excessive campaigning that sometimes has surrounded the awards, Frank Pierson couldn't have been more pleased. Meeting with the nominees this month, he congratulated them by saying that the recognition they had earned wasn't the result of any of the campaigns that might have been waged on their behalf but a reward for "opening us all to something that is fresh, unexpected and new." »

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Rock Defends Oscar Quips

23 February 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Upcoming 77th Academy Awards host Chris Rock is standing by controversial remarks he made calling the award ceremony a "fashion show" which holds no interest for black men unless they are gay. The Head Of State funnyman sparked a storm of controversy after his anti-Academy Awards tirade was published in magazine Entertainment Weekly, but he remained unrepentant during an appearance on American chat show The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. The 40-year-old joked, "I did not say that. I said only gay people watch the Tonys!" Before continuing more seriously, "I really don't know any straight men who aren't in show business that have ever watched the Oscars. What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? The awards don't really affect anybody's lives in the crowd." »

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Jessica Simpson Hospitalized

23 February 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Pop beauty Jessica Simpson was briefly hospitalized on Monday, after she was struck down with a stomach virus. The 24-year-old Irresistible singer was filming a segment for Oprah Winfrey's hit chat show, when she suddenly fell ill. Simpson's representative Brad Cafarelli tells People magazine, "While Jessica was in Chicago shooting a segment for Oprah, she contracted a stomach virus and became dehydrated. She is already feeling better after being checked into, and released from, a local hospital for rehydration before flying back to Los Angeles." Simpson was well enough to return to Los Angeles yesterday. According to the website for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Simpson will appear on a segment entitled "Red Carpet Makeovers with Jessica Simpson" to be aired on Friday - two days before the 77th Academy Awards. Other stars listed on the show's schedule for that day are singer Ashanti and actress Lara Flynn Boyle. »

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Beyonce Leaves Minnie Devastated by Oscar Rejection

21 February 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The news R&B beauty Beyonce Knowles has replaced Minnie Driver to perform at the Oscar ceremony next Sunday left the British actress-turned-singer devastated. Driver is said to be "inconsolable" after finding out she will no longer be singing Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Learn To Be Lonely" at the Academy Awards. The 34-year-old was considered the obvious choice to perform the song, which is nominated for the Best Original Song award, as she sang it in movie The Phantom Of The Opera. However, hugely popular Destiny's Child hitmaker Knowles recently stepped in to perform the track. A close source says, "Minnie just doesn't have the pulling power or the voice of Beyonce. Minnie is devastated and inconsolable. She'd told everyone that this was to be her big break as a singer." Knowles is also singing two other nominated songs at the 77th Academy Awards - including "Look To Your Path" from Les Choristes (The Choir) and The Polar Express theme "Believe." »

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Tech groups cry foul over Oscar moves

16 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Producer Gil Cates' plan to add a few new twists to the traditional Oscar ritual of reading off the nominees' names, opening the envelope and then calling the winner up to the stage is meeting resistance from members of the crafts categories, who fear it is designed to marginalize them. Cates first unveiled the changes last week at the luncheon thrown by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the nominees for its 77th Annual Academy Awards. As he explained it, in addition to the traditional method of announcing Oscar winners, this year's show will introduce two other methods. In some categories, all the nominees will appear onstage as their names are read, with the winner stepping forward to accept. In other categories, the nominees will be grouped together in a specific section of the audience, where the presenter, who opens the envelope, also will be stationed. »

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Tech groups cry foul over Oscar moves

16 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Producer Gil Cates' plan to add a few new twists to the traditional Oscar ritual of reading off the nominees' names, opening the envelope and then calling the winner up to the stage is meeting resistance from members of the crafts categories, who fear it is designed to marginalize them. Cates first unveiled the changes last week at the luncheon thrown by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the nominees for its 77th Annual Academy Awards. As he explained it, in addition to the traditional method of announcing Oscar winners, this year's show will introduce two other methods. In some categories, all the nominees will appear onstage as their names are read, with the winner stepping forward to accept. In other categories, the nominees will be grouped together in a specific section of the audience, where the presenter, who opens the envelope, also will be stationed. »

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Rock in Oscar Controversy Storm

15 February 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar bosses are standing behind Chris Rock as their choice to host this year's 77th Annual Academy Awards ceremony - despite the comedian calling the event a "fashion show" that is only watched by homosexuals. Head Of State star Rock made his controversial remarks to US magazine Entertainment Weekly, just two weeks before he presents the glitzy bash later this month. In the interview, Rock told the publication that Oscar ceremonies never hold his concentration for the duration, before deriding the annual event as "idiotic" and a pointless fashion parade. Rock said, "I never watched the Oscars, except the Halle Berry / Denzel Washington year. But even then, I went back and forth to other channels. Come on, it's a fashion show. No one performs, it's not like a music show. Nothing against people who aren't straight, but what straight guy that you know really cares? Who gives a f**k? They're clothes. What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one. And they don't recognize comedy, and you don't see a lot of black people nominated, so why should I watch it?" But Oscar producer Gil Cates yesterday dismissed reports that Rock's comments had offended anyone at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences. He said, "The Academy is excited about Chris Rock hosting this year's Oscar telecast and looking forward to a very funny evening with him. Chris's comments over the past few weeks are meant to be humorous digs at the show that some people, obviously including Chris himself, think may be a bit too stuffy." »

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'Super Bowl for women' has ads too

9 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- A day after ABC locked up rights to carry the Academy Awards through 2014, the network released a list of advertisers for this year's sold-out telecast. The telecast, which some call the "Super Bowl for women", has seen some super numbers lately. Advertisers have ponied up an average of $1.6 million per 30-second spot, up from $1.5 million a year ago, sources said. This year's advertisers include Anheuser-Busch, American Express, Careerbuilder.com, Dyson, General Motors, Home Depot, Kodak, L'Oreal USA, J.C. Penney, Mastercard, Masterfoods, McDonald's, Microsoft, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble and State Farm. ABC said that there are other companies, but they didn't want advance notice of their advertising plans. The 77th Annual Academy Awards will be telecast at 5:30 p.m. PST Feb. 27, with host Chris Rock. ABC will air a Countdown to the Oscars from 5-5:30 p.m. »

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2006 | 2005 | 2004

11 items from 2005


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