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TV Junkie: Oscar Redux - We Hope Someone Learned Something

They looked nice but not many people enjoyed what James Franco and Anne Hathaway did at last night's Oscars. If ABC's goal was to get younger viewers, they failed in that effort, with a 12% drop in the 18-49 demographic.
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In an effort to look forward to the future and progress, we want to acknowledge that there will be excellent new episodes of "SouthLAnd," "Lights Out," "Raising Hope," "Modern Family," and "Justified" this week.
Crapping on this year's Oscars is like shooting fish in a barrel, so let's load up with lots of ammo. We were happy to get 14 out of the 20 categories we picked in our Saturday Oscars post and we were even happier to make and consume 3 of the cocktails that we suggested in that post. 14 out of 20 beats Roger Ebert and all of those high-falutin' Chicago film critics who claim to do this for a living.

As predicted, Joel McHale's hosting of Saturday's Film Independent Spirit Awards was more fun, interesting, and shorter than the Oscars. We're not some Johnny-come-lately who craps on this year's Oscar host and then looks back at them with rose-tinted glasses, claiming they were great. We've been supportive of prior hosts Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, and particularly David Letterman, all of whom knew how to tell a joke and could keep the show moving along with the right amount of respect that "America's Royalty" wanted.

Were Anne Hathaway and James Franco the worst hosts that could ever have been picked? No. But they weren't a good choice for what the Oscars wanted: increased viewership from a younger demographic. Overall viewership numbers are projected to be lower than last year's by 9% and down 12% in the 18-49 category. ABC and the Academy, for weeks, published press releases about the incredible amount of time spent in rehearsals but it just didn't feel like those rehearsals happened, particularly where the hosts were concerned. There were a lot of tweets last night about James Franco being stoned - whatever he was, he wasn't with it and seemed to be phoning in the work. Hathaway, while bubbly and enthusiastic, was probably too bubbly and enthusiastic, and thus, lacked the gravity to deliver any feeling of respect, seriousness, or accomplishment to the nominees and winners. As for the words they were saying, the writers didn't give them much to work with, certainly a large portion of the blame for the host performances resides with them.