Gold Derby Nuggets: January 12

This year’s Oscarcast will include “scenic transitions” says Sandy Cohen who chatted with first-time producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer. As Sandy writes, “the Oscars will pay homage to iconic moments in movie history, using music and images to transport viewers to the scenes of memorable movies, performances, eras and even the first Academy Awards. Awards for sound and other less viewer-friendly categories will be presented during these short trips.” AP

The Oscar Oracle “is an index designed to predict which films and individuals will win awards this season by continuously tracking mass opinion. By crowd-sourcing more than 10 million user-generated comments per day from 60,000 sites, including the most well-known entertainment blogs, fan sites, online communities, and other websites.” Not surprisingly, frontrunners “The Social Network,” Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) top the charts. THE DAILY BEAST

Steve Pond delivers the scoop that Ryan Kavanaugh has had his bid to be credited by the academy as a producer on “The Fighter” rejected. As Steve notes, “The AMPAS Producers Branch Executive Committee, which has the right to rule on which producers qualify, typically allows the PGA to adjudicate disputes, and accepts the guild’s rulings.” And Kavanaugh had already struck out with the PGA several months ago. THE ODDS

Pete Hammond previews the supporting Oscar races and recaps the chances of 16 men and 20 women scoring nominations. As part of his report, Pete writes about category confusion: “It was no exception in 2010 with so-called leading roles being campaigned for Supporting in some instances to give them a better shot at a nomination or avoid competing with co-stars. Which is perefectly acceptable since the Academy actors branch leaves it up to voting members to determine the appropriate category for each performance. Sometimes this results in split votes. Often in surprises.” DEADLINE

As Daisy Prince writes, Oscar campaiging has kicked into high gear in Gotham: “It was fitting that at a lunch given for ‘The King’s Speech’ — the brilliant film about King George VI and the speech therapist who helped to cure the monarch’s stammer — should take place in a suitably grand private club. All the big swinging Brits in town, Piers Morgan, Tina Brown, Jennifer Ehle and lithe Trudie Styler were there for the talk given by the film’s director, Tom Hopper, historian Amanda Foreman and star Colin Firth on the making and research of the film.” NEW YORK OBSERVER

Michael Shulman reflects on the trials and tribulations that have befallen the new Broadway musical “Turn Off the Dark.” This adaptation of the Spider-Man comic by U2‘s Bono and The Edge has been attracting the wrong kind of publicity as its elaborate staging by two-time Tony champ Julie Taymor has oftentimes gone wrong. As Michael observes, “Through it all, ticket sales have soared, which raises an uncomfortable question: are people paying to see calamity?” To understand this way of thinking, he interviews a psychologist and two scholars about what drives such basic base human impulses. NEW YORKER

Melinda Newman tries to get confirmation about the rampant rumor that Britney Spears will perform on the Grammys on Feb. 13. However, as she reports the recording academy, “coyly told Hitfix, when asked about Spears’ possible appearance, ‘Until a press release is issued by The Recording Academy, there are no performers or presenters confirmed.’ When asked when the Academy will start putting out press releases about performers, the answer was ‘shortly.’ Uh, thanks.” HITFIX

Reigning Emmy champ “Modern Family” might have had a much different look says “Weeds” writer/producer Stephen Falk. As he writes, “Found the ‘Modern Family’ pilot script in some old folder on my computer and discovered this interesting cast breakdown with (mostly) temp/wishlist actors as models for the development executives. Very instructive as a writing practice (I do this as well), and interesting to see who they had in mind.” STEPHEN FALK

The 25th edition of Spain’s version of the Oscars — the Goya Awards — takes place in Madrid on Feb. 13. Leading Tuesday’s nominations is “The Last Circus” which reaped 15 bids, including Best Picture, Director (Alex de la Iglesia) and Actor (Antonio de la Torre). For the top prize, the Venice filmfest runnerup faces off against “Black Bread,” “Buried” and Spain’s Oscar entry “Even the Rain.” De la Torre’s competition in the Best Actor race is Javier Bardem (“Biutiful”), Ryan Reynolds (“Buried”) and three-time Goya champ Luis Tosar (“Even the Rain”). The Best Actress contenders are: Elena Anaya (“Room in Rome”), Nora Navas (“Black Bread”), Belen Rueda (“Julia’s Eyes”) and Emma Suarez (“The Mosquito Net”). SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

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