News Nuggets: What are your ideas on improving the Oscars ceremony?

Glenn Whipp offers his tips for producing a better Academy Awards ceremony. Not wishing failure on this year’s host Ellen DeGeneres, he says that “we’re always hopeful, like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin or an L.A. resident dreaming of decent public transportation.” Some of his ways for improvement include ramping up the energy, staying the course with one host (like they did with Bob Hope and Billy Crystal), changing the venue to a more intimate setting, keeping it at three hours, and moving the three shorts categories to their own night. L.A. Times.

When each Best Picture nominee is introduced throughout the Oscars ceremony on March 2, Tim Gray wants them to avoid using the same old clips seen on the other TV ceremonies. He offers alternative suggestions for each film. They include Jennifer Lawrence trying to use the microwave in “American Hustle,” Tom Hanks watching the pirates board the ship in “Captain Phillips,” and Matthew McConaughey with the supermarket hammerlock in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Variety.

With a recent major death on a show this week, a new photo gallery looks back at the 30 most shocking TV deaths over the years. SPOILERS AHEAD… The top 10 in the gallery are Rita (Julie Benz) in “Dexter,” Teri (Leslie Hope) in “24,” Terry (Reed Diamond) in “The Shield,” Rosalind (Diana Muldaur) in “L.A. Law,” Adriana (Drea de Matteo) in “The Sopranos,” Joyce (Kristine Sutherland) in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Sayid, Sun and Jin on “Lost,” Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten) in “The West Wing,” Susan (Heidi Swedberg) in “Seinfeld,” and Lawrence (Kal Penn) in “House.” Entertainment Weekly.

A critics’ round-up wonders if Jimmy Fallon played it “too safe” with his debut as “The Tonight Show” host on Monday. Comments ranged from “brilliant” to “strangely muted” from a variety of media sources. The show featured guests Will Smith and U2 plus surprise appearances from Stephen Colbert, Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Lady Gaga, Seth Rogen, and more. The premiere episode garnered a 7.1 rating, 80% higher than Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman combined. Thompson on Hollywood.

More presenters unveiled for the Independent Spirit Awards are Paul Dano, Jon Hamm, Anna Kendrick, and Oscar Isaac. They join the previously announced Jason Bateman, Will Forte, Greta Gerwig, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew McConaughey, Octavia Spencer, and Reese Witherspoon. The Santa Monica ceremony will be held on March 1 with Patton Oswalt hosting. The Wrap.

Brad Brevet wants at least a couple of surprises at the Oscars, but his biggest “wouldn’t it be great if…” is for Leonardo DiCaprio. He would like to see “The Wolf of Wall Street” star take home the award as Best Actor over frontrunner Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”). He says, “The likelihood of a surprise in the Best Actor category seems slim as the winds are all still blowing McConaughey’s way, and maybe I’m just in a weird mood, but I can’t help but hope for some kind of completely unexpected surprise.” Rope of Silicon.

Michael Ausiello scoops everyone with spoilers on many upcoming spring episodes and storylines. Shows discussed include “Arrow,” “Castle,” “Glee,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Nashville,” “NCIS,” “New Girl,” “Once Upon a Time,” and “True Blood.” TV Line.

The short-lived ABC series “Pushing Daisies” might be making its way to Broadway. Creator Bryan Fuller would like to revolve the show around the character of Olive, played by Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth. He says that he is jealous of Rob Thomas and his new film of “Veronica Mars,” so a feature film is also possible. E! Online.

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