November 9, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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And the hits keep on coming for the Academy:  following Brett Ratner’s hurried exit yesterday, Eddie Murphy has packed his host bag and left the building as well.  This isn’t a huge surprise, as Murphy was brought in by his Tower Heist director in the first place (and Heist isn’t proving to be the career-comeback smash it was originally expectd to be), but it leaves the Oscars rudderless, with about 3 months to go before the telecast–which for a show of its magnitude is less time than you’d think.

So who should take over for Murphy?  Take the safe road and return to a past host like Billy Crystal, Jon Stewart, Alec Baldwin and/or Steve Martin?  Or take a chance with someone unexpected (George Clooney?  Will Smith?  The cast of Glee?).  Since the Academy will have to choose its new producer and host in a hurry, and since last year’s James Franco/Anne Hathaway experiment was widely seen as a disaster, the feeling here is to expect a choice that favors trustworthiness over excitement.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."