Academy Awards producer Laura Ziskin believes DeGeneres was born to host the Oscars®. In a press release issued by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ziskin was quoted as saying, "There is no more challenging hosting job in show business. It requires someone who can keep the show alive and fresh and moving, as well as someone who is a flat-out great entertainer. Ellen completely fits the bill. I can already tell she is going to set the bar very high for herself and therefore for all of us involved in putting on the show. Now all we need is a lot of great movies."
Hollywood's big night is no longer the big television draw it used to be. Ratings have declined over the years, and not even Chris Rock's irreverent comedy style or Jon Stewart's sardonic wit could lure viewers back to the show. DeGeneres may attract more support than her recent predecessors mainly due to the fact her brand of comedy is more accessible to the average award show viewer.
While the choice of a host who doesn't connect with the target TV audience has definitely factored into the last few years of sagging ratings, the blame for the decrease in viewers doesn't rest solely with whoever took the plunge and accepted the hosting gig. The Academy Awards show has gotten long in the tooth, and the films nominated in the major categories the past few years failed to rally a lot of support from casual television viewers.
Commenting on being offered the chance to host the Oscars®, DeGeneres said, "When Laura Ziskin called, I was thrilled. Theres two things Ive always wanted to do in my life. One is to host the Oscars. The second is to get a call from Laura Ziskin. You can imagine that days diary entry."
Ellen DeGeneres' Notable Achievements: