News Nuggets: Academy committee to critique ‘lukewarm’ Oscar telecast next week

What will happen when board members review this year’s Oscar ceremony on March 24? Committee members from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be forced to address the “lukewarm” reaction from the audience and a large 16% drop in the ratings. They will be tasked to critique the script, musical numbers, running time, host Neil Patrick Harris, and producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, making suggestions and changes for next year. Some members also want to weigh in on the expansion to a larger number of Best Picture nominees, but that is not currently on next week’s agenda. Past president Sid Ganis “always said it was an experiment” and that the “rules are always flexible and always changeable.” Variety

Fox freshman drama series “Empire” ends its first season with its highest ratings yet. The soapy show starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard brought in 16.5 million viewers for the Wednesday night finale. It is now the first show in over 20 years to add audience members every single week. It is also the top-rated season finale for a new show since 2005, when “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Lost” were soaring. Vulture

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For a second straight year, HBO will stream the “Game of Thrones” red carpet season premiere live on Facebook. The event will happen from San Francisco on March 23 with dozens of cast members attending, including Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, and Maisie Williams. The fifth season of the hit show debuts on the premium network April 12. TV by the Numbers

What do you want to see on the third season of “Orange is the New Black“? Netflix will start streaming the latest episodes less than three months from now, and a new wishlist offers 11 ideas for the ladies of Litchfield. They want the storyline for Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) vs. Red (Kate Mulgrew) wrapped quickly plus more backstories on all of the main characters. More Sophia (Laverne Cox) is also requested. TV Guide

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The Tony Awards administration committee meets to determine more category placements. For the new play “Constellations,” both Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson will be considered as leads. For the musical “Honeymoon in Vegas,” Rob McClure will be a lead while Tony Danza is a featured actor. Playbill

The 1960 Tony Award won by Mary Martin for “The Sound of Music” sells at an auction for $35,000. The item was acquired from the estate of Martin’s son Larry Hagman. She starred as Maria von Trapp in the original Broadway production, which opened in November, 1959. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical won a total of six Tonys that year. Deadline

The Directors Guild of America sets its calendar for the next DGA Awards. The event will be held in Los Angeles on February 6, 2016. This year’s feature film winner was Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman“), who then went on to an Oscar win weeks later. Thompson on Hollywood

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