Marketing

Could Oprah Own Oscars, Too?

7/18/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Syndicated diva turned cable
net mogul Oprah Winfrey is the odds-on
favorite to host next February’s Oscar ceremony,
at least according
to an Irish bookmaking
site that was trumpeting
those odds to reporters
last week. Our
guess here is she would
be the first cable-network
chairman, CEO
and chief creative officer
(OWN) to host the annual
boffo glitz-a-thon.

The bookmaking site
paddypower.com has
Oprah as the 6-1 favorite
to front the broadcast,
which saw a 12% dip in
ratings in 2011 in the key
adult demo. “Academy bosses are apparently
keen to secure Oprah as next year’s host
in an attempt to boost telly ratings, which
fell by 10% on the previous year, after being
hosted by actress Anne Hathaway and actor
James Franco,” it said in touting the current
odds on a host of possible hosts.

Steve Martin is currently the second most
likely host at 8-1, followed by Bradley Cooper
at 9-1, Billy Crystal
(also 9-1), and
Comedy Central’s Jon
Stewart at 10-1. Sorry,
Stephen Colbert, you
were not on the list.
CNN host Piers
Morgan is a long shot
at 40-1. Even longer
shots are Justin Bieber
at 80-1 and Kate Middleton
at 100-1.

But the longest of
the long shots listed
in the sites e-mail
odds is Charlie Sheen,
at 250-1.

Friday Night Dinner’:
True Family Stories,
And a Dog Joke

Some things to know about Friday Night Dinner,
the six-part Britcom on BBC America starting
July 30:

Some of the wacky stuff we see mom
Jackie (Tamsin Greig), ditzy dad Martin (Paul
Ritter
) and
brothers Adam
(Simon Bird)
and Jonny
(Tom Rosenthal)
get up
to during their
weekly dinner
at the parents’
home really
happened in
writer Robert
Popper’s family.

And some
didn’t.

“The one
that your mom got really upset about was
[about] your dad,” Bird said on a call with
Popper last week, promoting the show.
“There’s a scene in the show where Martin
eats a bit of toast out of the [trash]. … And
that was the one thing that your mom was
like, ‘No, you can’t put that on TV.’ ”

Popper added: “Yes, she didn’t like that a
bit. She said, ‘He’s never done that.’ ”

Popper and his brother have acted like
Adam and Jonny, though, putting salt in each
other’s water glass. His dad walks around
shirtless. And his grandmother has tried to
send his mom to her room (in mom’s house).

As for
neighbor Jim,
who’s always
interrupting
Friday dinner,
he’s based on
a concept Popper
dreamed
up: a guy
whose only
companion
is a dog he’s
afraid of. “That
just made me
laugh out loud
when I thought
of it.”

The show’s pretty British, and subtextually
Jewish, but universal enough that you might
laugh out loud, too.

FEEDING THE
FOLKS IN JOPLIN

GMC, in partnership with Feed the
Children and the Salvation Army,
sponsored a Joplin, Mo., tornado victims’
outreach event at the Salvation
Army warehouse in the stricken city
on July 8. The outreach event was
part of the GMC “Uplift Someone,
America” tour and assisted local
families affected by the devastating
May tornado.

September