2017 Oscar production team packed with returning veterans

First-time Oscar producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd are surrounding themselves with veteran talent. Last week, it was announced that Glenn Weiss, the Emmy-winning helmer of the Tony Awards, was returning to oversee the telecast for a second year running. And on Feb. 14, the rest of the top production staff was confirmed. “This team has over 75 years of combined experience working on Oscars telecasts,” said De Luca and Todd. “It’s truly a privilege to work alongside them.”

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Supervising Producer: Rob Paine
He has been associated with the Oscar telecast for over 20 years and has more than 200 television events to his name and has earned four Emmy nominations and a Peabody Award.  His other credits include 11 Super Bowl Halftime Shows, “The Kennedy Center Honors” and the recent gala opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Writer: Jon Macks
This is the 20th time writing on the Oscars for this eight-time Emmy nominee; he has been the head writer for the hosts on seven Oscar telecasts.  In addition to his work on the Oscars, Macks wrote for 22 years on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and writes for Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Martin Short.

UPDATED: Oscar Experts predict winners in all 24 categories

Writer: Billy Kimball
He returns for his second year and has previously written for the Governors Awards and was the writer on the “Independent Spirit Awards” nine times.  Kimball is currently a writer and consulting producer on the HBO comedy series “Veep.”  His other writing credits include “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,” “The Simpsons” and the documentary feature “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” which he co-wrote with Davis Guggenheim.

Music: Harold Wheeler
He returns for his fourth Oscar telecast.  An accomplished orchestrator, composer, conductor, record producer and arranger, Wheeler has received multiple Emmy and Tony Award nominations as well as an NAACP Theatre Award for lifetime achievement.  His television credits include the “People’s Choice Awards,” “AFI’s 100 Years…” series and 17 seasons of “Dancing with the Stars.”  Wheeler also composed music for two Democratic National Conventions and the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics.  On Broadway, he has orchestrated musicals including “Hairspray,” “The Full Monty,” “Dreamgirls,” “The Wiz” and “Promises, Promises.”

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Production Designer: Derek McLane
He returns to the Oscars for a fifth consecutive year.  He has earned four Emmy nominations for his work on the Oscar telecasts and won in 2014.  His other television credits include “Hairspray Live!,” “The Wiz Live!,” “Peter Pan Live!” and “The Sound of Music Live!”  McLane also has designed sets for several acclaimed Broadway productions; he received a Tony Award for his work on the drama “33 Variations” as well as three nominations for musicals.

Lightning Designer: Robert Dickinson
He returns for his 28th Oscar show.  He has won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards, including three for Oscar telecasts.  Additionally, Dickinson has been honored with two Daytime Emmy Awards. His credits include “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “The Grammys,” “Primetime Emmy Awards,” “Tony Awards” and “Academy of Country Music Awards”; Olympics ceremonies in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Athens and Vancouver; the ceremonies of the European Games in Baku; and the specials “Peter Pan Live!” and “The Sound of Music Live!”

NEW: Oscar odds in all 24 categories 

Screen Content and Performances Designer: Raj Kapoor
He joins the Oscars for the first time. Kapoor’s recent credits include six Grammys, Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary, ABC’s “Greatest Hits” and the “Radio Disney Music Awards.”  Kapoor has mounted numerous large-scale international tours for Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Soul 2 Soul, One Republic, American Idol, Jason Aldean, Shania Twain, Juanes, Jewel, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Rascal Flatts.  He has also directed and produced Las Vegas residencies for Shania Twain, John Fogerty, Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey.

Talent Producer: Taryn Hurd
She rejoins the Oscar telecast team for the fourth consecutive year and has served as talent producer on the past three Governors Awards ceremonies along with numerous variety television specials and award shows.

Predict the Oscar winners now; change them till February 26

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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