The Motion Picture Academy is considering Jimmy Fallon as the 2013 Oscars host—a move that may be ruffling feathers at ABC. While talks are already reportedly underway to have Fallon headlining the gig, ABC presumably isn’t about to let a rival station’s late-night talk-show host walk onto its stage without raising some objections.
The rub, of course, is that ABC doesn’t have official veto power over the Academy’s choice—even if he is a late-night star from rival NBC.
The Los Angeles Times reports that outgoing Academy president Tom Sherak started discussions with Fallon about hosting, but stopped them before a deal was reached because his term was ending. Fallon has already hosted a hugely successful Emmy ceremony in 2010, so he has plenty of primetime experience and could bring some verve to a show with an annual ratings decline.
With Sherak’s run coming to an end this week, it now falls to new president Hawk Koch to not only find a host, but an executive producer, as well. Saturday Night Live veteran Lorne Michaels is also in talks with the Academy, according to the Times. Choosing a producer/host combination has proven tricky in recent years. Last year Brett Ratner resigned after he came under fire for making controversial homophobic comments. Host Eddie Murphy stepped down as well, setting the stage for Billy Crystal to emcee the event for the ninth time.
ABC’s own late-night star, Jimmy Kimmel, can’t host as he’s already signed on to do the Emmys this year. With the Academy of Motion Pictures looking to infuse more comedy into the show, as Koch said in an interview on Wednesday, Fallon is a logical choice, if not the best: as far as currently relevant, high-profile comedians, he sits atop the pack. But if the Academy caves to ABC’s wishes, they may fall back on the idea of having a film star host. But will he or she bring the comedy?