With Barbara Walters bowing out of her traditional pre-Oscar time slot this year, ABC is expanding the red carpet show from 30 to 90 minutes. Don Mischer, who is producing the Oscars for the first time alongside fellow newbie Bruce Cohen, has recruited long-time colleagues Juliane Hare and Charlie Haykel to handle this hectic live telecast. The pair, who have worked with Mischer for 18 and 14 years respectively, were already on board as consulting producers for the main show.
In the press release touting the tripling of the time the alphabet net will give over to the show, Hare and Haykel said, “We’re excited to be working on the pre-show, and it’s great that it’s been extended to 90 minutes. In addition to having more time to talk to the biggest movie stars in the world, we’ll be able to take the viewers behind the scenes before the biggest event in entertainment!”
In years past, the 30-minute ABC show has aired at the top of the hour (8 pm in the east/5 pm out west) with the Academy Awards beginning on the half hour. The official pre-show has exclusivity during that window, with the other shows rolling up their red carpets. While the competition will still be allowed to broadcast during the preceding hour, expect much jockeying for bold-faced names with many of the top players stopping by just the ABC platform.