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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: High School Musical

Gold Derby nuggets: OMG! Kristen & Taylor at the Oscars | Emmys for Betty White and Ann-Margret? | Memorable Oscars of yesteryear

February 22, 2010 |  4:48 pm

Taylor Lautner Kristen Stewart Twilight Oscars • While last year's Oscar champs Sean Penn, Kate Winslet and Penelope Cruz were referred to by their last names in the Feb. 11 academy news  release touting their appearances on this year's Oscars, tween and teen stars Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart merited first-names only in Monday's announcement of their bookings. For Cyrus and Efron, it will be their second time on the Kodak Theatre stage while "Twilight" stars Lautner and Stewart will be making their debut appearances at the Oscars. AMPAS

Scott Feinberg talks to Harvey Weinstein about the Oscar odds of "Inglourious Basterds" and a wide array of other subjects. As Scott reports, "Over the course of our 20-minute call, he repeatedly tries to steer the conversation back to 'Basterds,' Waltz, and especially Tarantino, with whom he’s collaborated ever since the boy wonder’s first film 'Reservoir Dogs' (1992) 18 years ago. But the reason that I requested this interview was to talk not about the puppeteer but rather about the puppeteer’s puppeteer." AND THE WINNER IS

• Four-time prime-time Emmy champ Betty White could be in the running again this year if the Facebook campaign to land her a hosting gig on "SNL" pans out. Michael Ausiello reports, "White would not be hosting alone. Rather, I hear 'SNL' is putting together a 'Women of Comedy' episode that would team the former Rose Nylund with several of her younger contemporaries. Ex-'SNL' MVP Molly Shannon is on board, I hear, and feelers have also been put out to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler." Last year, Fey and Justin Timberlake won the guest acting Emmys for their hosting of "SNL." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

SVU LogAnn-Margret might finally nab the Emmy that has eluded her five times in the past with the news that she will be guesting on "Law & Order: SVU." As per Robyn Ross's exclusive interview with executive producer Neal Baer, "the actress will portray "a star of commercials that were made in the '70s" and will be joined in the episode by Jaclyn Smith, who Baer says will play "a retired cop who works with Benson and Stabler to solve an old crime." Baer calls it "'Charlie's Angels' thirty years later." Over the years, guest actresses on "SVU" have earned 14 Emmy nominations resulting in four wins. TV GUIDE

Brad Brevet does a superb job reviewing the Oscar-nominated live action and animated shorts.  As Brad notes, Short Films International and Magnolia Pictures are currently screening all 10 shorts theatrically. For Brad, "Miracle Fish" from Australia is the best of the live action bunch while among the animated shorts, it may just be "A Matter of Loaf and Death." As Brad writes, "What is there really to say? It's Aardman. It's Wallace and Gromit. Isn't that enough? This time around Wallace has started up a baking business and all around him other bakers are being knocked off one-by-one." ROPE OF SILICON 

• While Steve Pond thinks "The Hurt Locker" will win best picture at the Oscars, he still isn't ready to say the race is over. As he writes, "'Avatar' has already beaten all the odds at the box office, and it’s picked up a good chunk of voters who view it as such a transformative, groundbreaking experience that it’d be crazy to vote for anything else. 'Avatar' is the reason the Oscar show will see its ratings increase dramatically, and Academy voters know that. All of which makes “Avatar” the film that could possibly, conceivably throw the usual rules out the window and grab a win that hasn’t been indicated at any of the significant precursor awards." THE WRAP

Oscar nominations 2010 Avatar The Hurt Locker The Blind Side Up in the Air UpJeff Wells observes, "It's being asked which of this year's Best Picture nominees will be watched by film buffs 50 years hence. Just as I've watched (and will watch again) a 50 year-old Korean War film called 'Pork Chop Hill,' I can't imagine 'The Hurt Locker' not being a fascinating timepiece for those looking to absorb what the Iraq War was for U.S. troops. And just as 'Ben-Hur' is a necessary flick to own (especially when it finally comes out on Blu-ray or at least see once, who can imagine 'Avatar' not being a essential sit in 2060?" Jeff then recaps the merits of the 1959 Oscar nominees as well as those films snubbed by the academy. HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

• A trio of Time Out scribes -- David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich -- count down their top 50 most-deserving Oscar winners of the past 81 years. While the cinematography of "The Third Man" (1950) just made the cut, topping their list is the visual effects of "2001." As Rothkopf writes, "Our consensus choice by a galaxy-wide margin, Stanley Kubrick’s seismically influential special effects—landmark accomplishments in their field—were steered by an intelligence that spent years pursuing a vision of total realism." TIME OUT NEW YORK

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Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars nixed 'Bruno' for host | Dave Karger BAFTAs predix | WGA Awards preview

Beware: Here comes an 'Inglourious' upset at the Oscars

Top photo: Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner in a scene from "Twilight: New Moon." Credit: Summit

Middle photo: "Law & Order: SVU" logo. Credit: NBC

Bottom photo: Academy Award statuettes. Credit: AMPAS

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Will 'High School Musical 4' be a real winner too?

March 4, 2009 |  2:12 pm

When the "High School Musical" franchise was launched on the Disney Channel, the first few installments did fairly well in the awards derby. The dance-a-thons got tripped up, though, when part three headed to movie theaters as a feature film, forsaking a first run on cable TV like the first two parts. It earned $250 million worldwide, but didn't fare well with awards.

"High School Musical 4" will return to TV and — yikes — not star Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. Curiously, it may not even include Kenny Ortega, the director of the first three installments. Word is still out on that. Writer Peter Barsocchini will pick up his pen again, though, and its original producers will return.

High_school_musical_zac_efron

According to the Disney news release, new stars will be cast as leads and "High School Musical 4" will feature a love triangle "set against the cross-town rivalry between the East High Wildcats and West High Knights."

The original "High School Musical" was nominated for six primetime Emmys and won two. It beat "Dancing With the Stars" for best choreography and tied HBO's "I Have Tourette's but Tourette's Doesn't Have Me" for best children's program. It also won best children's programming at the awards bestowed by the Television Critics Assn.

At the Teen Choice Awards, the original "High School Musical" won best TV comedy/musical show, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens won best chemistry. However, in the individual category for best breakout stars,  Zac beat Vanessa! But, hey, he also clobbered Miley Cyrus ("Hannah Montana"), so he wasn't just picking on poor Vanessa!

One year later, "High School Musical 2" was nominated for best children's program at the Emmys again, but got clobbered by "Nick News With Linda Ellerbee" and HBO's "Classical Baby." Its only other nomination was for best choreography, but it lost to "So You Think You Can Dance."

At the Kids' Choice Awards, part two nabbed only one nomination: best TV movie, which it won, beating "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story" and "Jump In," a Disney Channel film about a wannabe boxer who leaps into a jump-rope competition while chasing a girl.

Director Kenny Ortega won the Directors Guild of America Award for the first installment, but "High School Musical 2" lost to "Jump In!"

At TCA, part two lost best children's programming to the educational cartoon show "WordGirl" on PBS.

When "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" came out, it competed for film awards, not TV, since it was a feature release. The only kudos nibble it got was from a crafts guild, the Motion Picture Sound Editors, which nominated it in a category for musicals. It lost to "Mamma Mia!"

Photos: Disney

RELATED POSTS

Zac Efron named breakthrough performer of the year by theater owners

Can "High School Musical 3" graduate to movie awards?

Will Zac Efron wow Oscars viewers?

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Which songs from 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year' will Oscars voters prefer?

November 21, 2008 | 11:53 am

There are so many strong songs in "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" that Disney doesn't know which ones to trumpet in their Oscar campaign for best song. Remember, the rules are different this year. While the Mouse House was able to score three nominations last year for tunes from "Enchanted," the most bids any one film can reap now is two. Theoretically, to keep things simple, the studio should inform voters which two songs those should be, but the best it can do is narrow the choices down to four.

Zac_efron_high_school_musical_3_s_2

These four songs are being officially campaigned for "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" — "Can I Have This Dance?" (written by Adam Anders and Nikki Hassman, sung by Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens), "I Want It All" (written by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil, sung by Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel), "A Night to Remember" (written by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil, sung by film cast) and "Scream" (written by Jamie Houston, sung by Zac Efron).

When I asked our message-board posters which song has the best shot to be nominated and win, I got a lot of cynical replies from snarky non-fans of the "High School Musical" franchise who harrumphed, "None!" Ah, well, others were more helpful.

Kams says, "My favorite song is 'I Want It All,' but, since I have seen the movie, I have the feeling that 'Can I Have This Dance?' will be nominated."

Dr. McPhearson agrees, adding, "'I Want It All' would be the easiest choice were I an Oscar voter: it references show-biz, paparazzi, and even makes a mention of Oscar (when Grabeel says, 'And the Oscar goes to...'). It is most likely going to be the nominated one, if any."

What do you think?

Photo: Disney


Miley Cyrus, Oscar winner? (Yes! Scream! It's possible!)

November 17, 2008 | 11:53 am

The idea that Miley Cyrus could soon reign in the Oscar pantheon beside Katharine Hepburn, Barbra Streisand and Oscar Hammerstein II may seem preposterous, but, hey, stop laughing! Seriously, it could happen — this year.

If the animated flick "Bolt" is a box-office hit when it opens next week, then it'll be a serious Oscar contender — especially in the music categories. That's where Miley Cyrus could be a contender in the race for best song, since she not only croons "I Thought I Lost You" with John Travolta, but she shares writing credit with Jeffrey Steele.

Miley_cyrus_oscars

Disney films dominate the song category, of course. Heck, three tunes from "Enchanted" got nominated last year. Sure, they lost to "Falling Slowly" from "Once," but tunes from six Disney films have won best song over the last 20 years: "Tarzan," "Pocahontas," "The Lion King," "Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid."

However, Miley Cyrus' Oscar hopes face a serious obstacle and lots of Disney competition. "I Thought I Lost You" plays over the film's end credits. That's usually a bad thing since nominees are decided by members of the music branch who watch videos to see how the music is incorporated into the film. Songs that are showcased in dramatic action like "Falling Slowly" have a strong edge.

There are lots of other Disney songs this year too. There's "Down to Earth" from "Wall-E," which is sung by Peter Gabriel (over the end credits, alas). And four tunes are being campaigned from "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" — "I Want It All," "A Night to Remember," "Scream," and "Can I Have This Dance?" According to new academy rules, only two tunes from a film may be nominated, down from three last year.

Assuming two "High School Musical 3" songs get in, there are lots of other strong contenders this year too, such as "Jai Ho" — the joyous grand finale of "Slumdog Millionaire." There's also Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" from the Mickey Rourke film of the same name, Will.i.am's "Traveling Song" from "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," Jennifer Hudson's "All Dressed Up in Love" from "Sex and the City," Alicia Keys' and Jack White's "Another Way to Die" from "Quantum of Solace" and Jamie Cullum's song co-written with Clint Eastwood for "Gran Torino."

Competition may be tough, but the headstrong "Hannah Montana" star is determine to win someday. As Miley Cyrus told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet outside the Kodak Theatre earlier this year.

Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images


Can 'High School Musical 3' graduate to movie awards?

October 23, 2008 |  1:11 pm

While "High School Musical 3" may not hit the right notes with all of the movie critics this weekend, it is sure to do boffo business. Already this big-screen continuation of the small-screen hit franchise has generated huge advance ticket sales. And the inevitable comparisons are already being made with that ultimate high school musical "Grease," which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

High_school_musical_3_zac_efron

That blast from the past picked up five Golden Globe nominations for 1978. "Grease" lost the race for best comedy/musical picture to "Heaven Can Wait," whose star, Warren Beatty, edged out John Travolta as best actor. Screen newcomer Olivia Newton-John was bested by a pair of Oscar-winning veterans " Ellen Burstyn ("Same Time Next Year") and Maggie Smith ("California Suite"). And the two nominated songs from the film lost to the eventual Oscar winner, "Last Dance," from "Thank God It's Friday."

Five of the last seven Golden Globe winners for best musical or comedy have been tuners. Already this year "Mamma Mia!" has hit the mother lode of box-office gold, earning $143 million in the U.S. and $400 million more worldwide. Meryl Streep lent that frothy romp a certain gravitas and is sure to pick up a record-tying 22nd Golden Globe nod for her efforts. However, the Broadway show on which the movie was based came up short at the 2002 Tony Awards, losing all five of its bids, including best musical to "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

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Will 'So You Think You Can Dance' upstage 'Dancing with the Stars' and 'High School Musical 2' at the Emmys?

July 19, 2008 |  4:51 pm

Looks like "Dancing with the Stars" may be an Emmy wallflower again this year, at least when it comes to winning the award for choreography. "So You Think You Can Dance" took three of the five slots and "High School Musical 2" took another, leaving Julianne Hough as the sole contender for teaching celebrities how to trip the light fantastic. (See full list of nominees HERE.)

So_you_think_you_can_dance

Last year, "Dancing with the Stars" was the lone loser while the high-energy "So You Think You Can Dance" took two of the Emmys for choreography and "Tony Bennett: An American Classic" won the third. And two years ago, despite three nominations, "Dancing with the Stars" was left on the sidelines as "High School Musical" won the only Emmy awarded for choreography.

Overall, the boffo ratings of "Dancing" have not translated into much Emmy gold. Two years ago, the show went 2 for 6 with wins for technical direction and costumes. Last year it went 0 for 8 and this year it is also up for eight awards. Perhaps recent winner Kristi Yamaguchi's Olympic gold medal for figure skating can rub off on the show when they start doling out those golden Emmys.

Right now "So You Think You Can Dance" is one of the hottest TV shows in America. Just last week "So You Think You Can Dance" won its time slot on Thursday night, drawing nearly 8 million viewers. Such intense interest in the sexy TV show right now can only help to give it an extra kick in Emmy voting.

Photo: Fox


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