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Could Jimmy Fallon be the host of the 2013 Oscars?
That's the word on the street -- and in The Los Angeles Times. According to the newspaper, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been on the hunt for a good comedian to host next year's awards ceremony, and Fallon might be the man for the job. There is no official confirmation of his potential participation and there's always a chance that discussions might fall apart, but word is that the Academy is looking to bring Lorne Michaels on as Oscar producer with Fallon as host.
This wouldn't be the first time that a late-night host has taken to the Academy Awards stage. Jon Stewart and David Letterman have taken the duty in the past to great results. And Fallon is no stranger to emceeing. He hosted the 2010 Emmys, 2009 VMAs and 2006 MTV Movie Awards, so it's clear that he's got the resume to get this job done right.
Apparently a major sticking point in discussions is the fact that Fallon's talk show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, airs on NBC, while the Oscars air on ABC. The network reportedly doesn't want a direct competitor hosting one of the most viewed awards shows of the season. For what it's worth, Jimmy Kimmel (Fallon's closest competition on ABC) is hosting next month's Emmy Awards (also on ABC).
What this discussion makes clear is the fact that the Academy wants to continue its trend of having comedians host the Oscars while choosing someone who is appealing to a younger audience. Last year Eddie Murphy was supposed to host but he backed out, and Billy Crystal hosted instead. It was a safe choice because, having handled the job a record nine times, Crystal is one of the best Academy Awards hosts ever. He is not, however, one that would make younger viewers want to tune in. The year before, Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted to appeal to younger viewers, but their stint was met with overwhelmingly poor reviews. Hopefully Fallon -- if he does get tapped for the gig -- can find the middle ground between the two.