What's the hurry, Sid? The Oscars can wait
The Oscars have revealed more of what Plan B will be in case the writers' strike derails Plan A. As the Associated Press story notes, it "would include history, film clips and out-of-the-ordinary concepts for the awards show."
I've said it before, but this bears repeating: What's the Big Rush, Sid Ganis and Gil Cates? You're the Oscars. You're the only awards group that produces its own telecast — you have leverage the Golden Globes and People's Choice Awards didn't. You can push the show back to April when it used to be held quite often. In fact, during the 30 years between 1960 and 1990, the Oscarcast was held in April 21 times! Putting it there one more time during a period of industry crisis wouldn't be so terrible.
The priority should be the ceremony going on as usual, with or without TV cameras. The academy needs to send the message that the Oscarfest exists chiefly as an annual gathering of the Hollywood family, so that the clan can acknowledge the best film work achieved by family members. The fact that TV cameras are present, permitting the rest of us to see what's going on, ought to be a secondary consideration. But if it's really so important to you — and with it the $30 million the academy earns as a result — then just delay the ceremony to April. The strike will probably be resolved by then. Instead, by pressing ahead with the possibility of airing a TV show that will not include the gathered clan, you're telling us that the Oscars are really, first and foremost, a TV show. Wow. I'm shocked — and saddened — to hear this.