Actors Steve Martin, left, and Alec Baldwin will co-host the Oscars on March 7, 2010. Martin has hosted the show twice before, in 2001 and 2003. Baldwin will be a first-time host.AP photo
LOS ANGELES — Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are taking on the Oscars.
The two Hollywood veterans will share hosting duties at the 82nd Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Tuesday.
Telecast producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman said Martin and Baldwin are “the perfect pair of hosts for the Oscars.” The producers have said they hope to resurrect Oscar’s ratings and make the show more fun by building on the changes introduced at February’s ceremony, which tinkered with the way awards were presented and featured Broadway-style musical interludes.
Bringing in a pair of hosts, while not unprecedented, continues the theme of change.
The inaugural Oscar ceremony in 1929 was co-hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William DeMille, then president and vice president of the film academy. The last time multiple hosts graced the Oscar stage was in 1987, when Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan shared hosting duties.
“In the modern television era, this is the first time there will be two co-hosts on the same stage,” academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger said Tuesday.
Hugh Jackman sang and danced as host of last year’s Academy Awards, which saw a ratings boost from the previous year. The 41-year-old actor declined to reprise his hosting role, according to the Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety.
Martin has hosted the show twice before, in 2001 and 2003, and has appeared as a presenter several times. Baldwin is a first-timer as Oscar host, but was a co-presenter in 2004.
Baldwin, 51, who stars on NBC’s “30 Rock,” called the Oscar gig “the opportunity of a lifetime.” He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 for his supporting role in “The Cooler.”
Martin said that he is “happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin.” The 64-year-old entertainer is currently on tour in support of his latest banjo album. He and Baldwin share the screen in Nancy Meyers’ film “It’s Complicated,” due in theaters next month.
Besides the dual-host approach, the 2010 Oscars have already undergone a major makeover. The academy moved its honorary Oscars, often a long-winded affair that bogged down the ceremony, to a separate event in November.
And in the biggest change in decades, the academy doubled the number of best-picture nominees from five to 10. Academy overseers hope that might open the top category to a wider range of films, including commercial movies that could attract more TV viewers.
The 82nd Academy Awards will be presented March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre. Nominations will be announced Feb. 2, 2010.