The Academy has tapped Emmy-winning producer David Hill and Oscar-nominated producer-director Reginald Hudlin to organize its annual telecast. With six months until the 88th Academy Awards, the producers have been named and hired for the Feb. 28 show, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced Tuesday.
The Academy has tapped Emmy-winning producer David Hill and Oscar-nominated producer-director Reginald Hudlin to organize its annual telecast.
With six months until the 88th Academy Awards, the producers have been named and hired for the Feb. 28 show, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced Tuesday.
“We’re delighted to have this talented team on board,” Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “David is a true innovator with a dynamic personality. His vast experience as a live events producer, coupled with Reggie’s energy, creativity and talent as a filmmaker, is sure to make this year’s Oscar telecast a memorable one.”
Both producers said they look forward to the challenge of the Oscars ceremony and want to "make it fun."
"What a great and exciting honor! The quest is to honor the year in film, honor the art, and above all, make it fun," Hill said in a statement.
“I’m looking forward to working with the Academy again,” Hudlin said in a statement. “I love every kind of film and this year’s awards will be a celebration of the total range of cinema.”
Hudlin produced the Academy's 6th Governors Awards ceremony last year.
“We’re excited to work with David and Reggie,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “With their enthusiasm and breadth of experience, they will bring a fresh perspective to the Oscar show.”
Hill and Hudlin follow in the footsteps of producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have produced the past three Oscar telecasts. Zadan and Meron announced in March that they had completed their three-year contract with the Academy and would not be returning.
News of Zadan and Meron producing the Oscars for the first time was announced Aug. 23, 2012, so Tuesday's announcement falls in line with the general Oscars timeline.
The first task of the producers will be to work in tandem with Boone Isaacs to find a host for the show.
Some rumors online say a pair of hosts might be in the works for the 2016 ceremony.
Hudlin told Variety Tuesday afternoon that's only one option:
“We’re still very much looking at every possibility. At our first meeting, I mentioned a possible pairing and David flipped; since then I have thrown out another four or five names and David brought up ideas. … We have talked about people who might be exciting odd couples.”
As soon as producers have a host locked down, they will announce it. In the past, host announcements have varied from late summer to late fall.
Neil Patrick Harris was announced this year's host on Oct. 15, 2014. Ellen DeGeneres was announced host Aug. 2, 2013, which was the earliest in recent years.
Seth MacFarlane was named host on Oct. 2, 2012. Eddie Murphy's hosting duties announcement was in early September of 2011 (Billy Crystal was eventually named his replacement after he withdrew).
The Academy didn't announce James Franco and Anne Hathaway's appointment as co-hosts until Nov. 29 in 2010, which was 90 days before the show. In 2009, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were named co-hosts on Nov. 3. Hugh Jackman wasn't announced as host of 81st Academy Awards until Dec. 12, 2008.
The team of producers represent the best of both the television and film industries.
Hill served as an executive with the Fox group of companies for more than 25 years. Most recently, he served as the senior executive vice president of 21st Century Fox, overseeing programming and digital initiatives. Hill received an individual Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Special as an executive producer of the 2011 World Series broadcast. He also served as an executive producer on the past two seasons of “American Idol.” He recently left Fox to start his own production company, Hilly, focusing on live and reality television.
Hudlin received a 2012 Best Picture Oscar nomination as a producer of "Django Unchained." Award shows are also part of his experience. He has been the executive producer of the NAACP Image Awards since 2012. For television, he has directed for “Modern Family,” “New Girl” and “The Office.” Hudlin was the first President of Entertainment for BET Networks from 2005 to 2009, where he oversaw programming and developed some of the network's highest rated shows during his tenure. Hudlin is a member of the Academy, Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild.
The 88th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2015, will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.