Osc2This is surprisingly early for such a big decision to be made. In fact, the earliest that the producers and director of the Academy Awards telecast have been chosen in recent years. But Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences President Tom Sherak just told me that he made up his mind last year to fill the two positions early before any of his candidates were already committed to other gig. Sherak did have a conversation with last year’s producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman  but “they wanted time off… that show is tough,” Sherak noted. As for the reasons behind his selections, well, Don Mischer has won 15 Emmys, and Bruce Cohen “knows what he wants to do, and wants to do it badly,” Sherak told me. So now the producing pair will put together a list of hosts they want for the Oscars and get that set as soon as possible. As long as they include a woman this year! (We were up first with this but our Deadline email alerts were not working…):

090202a_0395Beverly Hills, CA (June 22, 2010) — Academy Award®-winning producer Bruce Cohen and acclaimed television producer/director Don Mischer will produce the 83rd Academy Awards telecast, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced this evening. Mischer will also serve as the telecast’s director. This will be the first involvement with the Oscar® telecast for both men, though the two worked together on the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards event in November of 2010.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic that Bruce and Don have accepted my invitation to produce and direct the 83rd Academy Awards telecast,” said Sherak. “Their work in producing the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards was exceptional and I am confident they will bring their creative vision and extraordinary talent to produce/direct a most memorable Oscar show.”

Dons_Headshot-p“I fell in love with the Oscars as an eight-year-old kid, the night my grandmothers let me stay up to watch for the first time,” said Cohen. “It is a dream come true for me to now be producing the show with the phenomenal Don Mischer, whom I’ve had an incredible time working with in the past. We hope to create a show that celebrates what people around the world love about the Academy Awards year after year – the excitement, glamour and tradition of Oscar Night itself.”

“During my previous collaborations with Bruce, I have come to know him as a passionate, smart and creative producer, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to now be working with him on the Oscars,” said Mischer. “As a producer and director, I have always been inspired by the live broadcast of major, high-profile events and when it comes to that, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Academy Awards. The Oscars are truly ‘appointment’ television, they’re eagerly anticipated around the world, and they offer a unique opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary artists who take us on a journey every time we step into a movie theater.”

Cohen won an Academy Award in 1999 as producer, with Dan Jinks, of Best Picture “American Beauty.” He and Jinks were again nominated in the Best Picture category in 2008 for “Milk.” Cohen’s other movie producing credits include “The Flintstones” (1994), “Down with Love” (2003), “Big Fish” (2003), “The Forgotten” (2004) and “The Nines” (2007). In television, Cohen’s credits include “Pushing Daisies,” “Traveler” and “Side Order of Life,” all as executive producer. He also executive produced the Emmy-nominated special “Movies Rock” in 2007, with Mischer.

Mischer’s producer/director credits include “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial,” “The Kennedy Center Honors,” several Super Bowl half-time shows and the opening ceremonies of both Winter and Summer Olympic Games. He has also produced specials with a wide range of musical performers, including Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Beyonce, Yo Yo Ma and Carrie Underwood. Among the many honors he has earned are 15 Emmy Awards, 10 Directors Guild of America Awards, two NAACP Image Awards and a Peabody Award.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.