Academy Awards 2012: Eddie Murphy Resigns, Billy Crystal to Host

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By Justin Sarachik, Christian Post Reporter
November 11, 2011|12:41 pm

Controversial statements made by Brett Ratner, after being selected as the "Oscar's" producer, forced him and selected host, Eddie Murphy, to resign and allow the now nine-time host, Billy Crystal, to take over duties.

Crystal took to his Twitter account to make the announcement: "Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up prescriptions. Looking forward to the show."

"I'm thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar stage," said president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tom Sherak in a statement.

He went on to call Crystal a "comic legend and Oscar icon."

Brought on, as the show's new producer, is Brian Grazer.

"Like so many others, I've been eager to see Billy host again. It's very gratifying that he agreed to do it with (co-producer Don Mischer) and me at the helm," said Grazer to Reuters.

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Crystal first hosted the "Oscar's" in 1990, and at the time, it was the second most watched program of the year behind the Superbowl, drawing around 40 million viewers.

The comic then hosted the awards' show through 1994, took a break for two years, and came back in 1997 and 1998 with 2004 being his last hosting gig.

Over the last couple of years, the awards’ show has focused on drawing a younger hipper crowd with hosts like James Franco and Ann Hathaway. However, critics felt the duo bombed last year’s show, and it seems the "Oscar's" have a habit of turning to Crystal after a failure.

Still, a major concern is whether the 63-year-old actor can connect with this generation of viewers as the “Oscar's" have seen a steady decrease of viewership every year, according to Reuters.

The show has failed to reach the 40 million mark in five of the last six years, only doing well because of hit movie "Avatar" last year.

Bob Hope was the only host older than Crystal, hosting into his late 60s and doing so 19 times.

"The Academy Awards" will air Feb. 26, 2012.


 

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