OSCARS: Melissa Watkins Trueblood Named Talent Producer; Danette Herman To Consult

Beverly Hills, CA – Melissa Watkins Trueblood has been named talent producer for the 84th Academy Awards, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be her first association with the Oscar telecast. In addition, Danette Herman has signed on to consult for the 84th and 85th shows. Trueblood has served as a co-producer or talent producer on numerous awards shows, recently serving as co-producer for “The 63rd Primetime Emmy® Awards.” Her other credits include the American Music Awards, the Golden Globe® Awards, the People’s Choice Awards and the World Music Awards. Herman, who was coordinating producer for the 83rd Academy Awards® telecast, has served in various producing and executive capacities on Oscar shows over the years. In 2010 she was co-producer of the Academy’s 2nd Annual Governors Awards. Her other credits include The Kennedy Center Honors, the Primetime Emmy Awards and “Stand Up to Cancer.”

  1. She is wonderful to work with, grace under pressure, elegant and kind. Wishing her and the entire Academy team well!

  2. They can’t possibly be serious with this press release?

    Side stepping a well known respected veteran who’s steered TV’s biggest vessel flawlessly for years and replaced with a ho-hum
    C-Lister who barely managed and stumble her way through this year’s Emmys? TV Academy still talking about that great decision.

    Real strategic move fellow Academy members, that’s like giving Helen Keller the wheel of the Titanic.

  3. That marketing team – Ganis and Sherak – is back it. They have their person now administrating over the academy – Dawn Hudson – who thinks the show is going to get better by hiring a new talent/coordinating producer.

    But of course! It’s going to be younger and cooler – just like the Independent Spirit awards (you know, the one that gets done in a tent in Santa Monica and is seen by 800,000 activity-less souls on a Saturday night in February.

    The Oscars is going to be reinvented in one move! Of course it is. Yea.


    Isn’t it?

    Unfortunately, the executive producers conceive the show and book the talent – and the talent team makes sure that the talent is on time, has what they need and walks away saying how wonderfully they were treated by the Academy. One job is showmanship; the other is logistics. There is talented producing and then there is talent relations.

    And for the academy to make the mistake of thinking that its hired personnel (i.e. Hudson) know how to produce? Hmm, that’s a real, real slippery slope. Sounds like the way studios execs feel about directing. The way networks feel about writing. Oh, the irony: the academy now has an administrator who thinks she’s the second coming of Irving Thalberg. And the board lets her behave that way?

    Institutions — and administrators who run them — should stick to their mission, particularly when it’s an artistic institution. The board has the artists, and they pick the show’s producer because by and large they are the storytellers. But for the administrator to dictate who the executive producers have to work with? It’s just bad, well, administrating.

    And it ain’t gonna make the show one bit better. It’s just gonna piss off a lot of talent for “fixing” a component of the Oscars – talent coordination – that was never broken.

    For 38 (THIRTY EIGHT!) years the reputation of the academy has been beautifully protected and enhanced by Danette Herman. She is the pro. She is the adult in the room. No chaos. No drama. Every A-lister in town has worked with her for years and years. More importantly, every A-lister’s publicist has, too.

    And on the biggest, most important night of the year for movie stars, do top publicists want their talent in the hands of Danette Herman or someone who’s recent credits include: the Scream Awards, Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and the crass, knock off awards that are the Globes and the AMA’s, and who first called herself a talent producer in (stand by, checking IMDB)… 2003.

    On the day of Gil Cates’ passing, we now see that the Academy has lost a great talent in Gil, but also a heck of a lot of class. His, and Danette Herman’s.

    1. So you feel the need to elevate Danette Herman by saying rude and unkind things about Melissa Trueblood???

      Well, as much as I’d like to take the high road and remain above the fray, I can’t pass up this opportunity to offer the other side of the story…

      Danette Herman is one of the meanest, most unkind people I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with. She is miserable, lacks any sense of humor, and treats those below her in a very abusive manner. She has been known to make those that report to her cry. It’s unconscionable that she’s lasted this long and been allowed to treat people the way she has for so long. I don’t care how organized she is, there are plenty of people that can do her job–do it well with a smile on their face– AND treat those around them with kindness and respect.

      Melissa Trueblood is that person. With credits such as The Golden Globes, AMA’s, Spirit Awards, and Emmys…how can you with a straight face not think she is qualified for the job? laughable.

      The bottom line is…it’s all about KARMA. And it’s about time that the Don Mischer’s and George Stevens of the world wake up and realize that it’s not OK to continually hire people that are abusive to those under them.

      And speaking of Karma, Michael Seligman is next. Another part of the Danette Herman “Mean Girls/Mean Boys” posse. Michael is a bully, a screamer, and vicious to those that work under him. I say…OUT with the old school tyrants and IN with the newer nicer kinder generation!

      1. OMG she is such an old goat and bully- what is her talent? Booking presenters?
        Last time I saw her she was on crutches looking 70 years old Y I K E S

        How hard is it to call PR people asking if their client can present an award?
        my intern could do a better job than that lonely old fire crotch

  4. Based on the negative comments, I, too, felt the need to “remain above the fray.” Your remarks above are surely factoids?

    If that’s the case, then please explain why it is “allegedly” that the Academy and its producers felt the need to poach Herman’s entire team when Melissa, with all her illustrious credits, certainly must have her own people? It sure exemplifies the confidence in her abilities as their new replacement.

    I do agree, Trueblood possesses a mid-level background, but this is the Oscars. Which, at one time used to stand for something. It’s blatantly apparent that producers are now covering themselves in part due to the negative grumbling filtered through the pipeline in regards to Melissa’s lackluster performance and reviews on Emmys. Another genius move, Hudson…besides the RatnerMurphy fiasco. More mess to clean up.

    So, praise for being “kind” is indeed an admirable trait, but it does not qualify for experience nor gives credibility in undertaking the enormity of that show. How do the Academy Producers rationalize that one? Apparently, by coveting someone else’s team that were groomed by the previous predecessor in order to make the “new generation” choice appear competent.

    Granted, Herman may not be the warmest of people, but when did that become the criteria for professionalism? She paved the way for many who have since gone on to become producers in their own right through her guidance. Anyone who has lasted this long knows it is part of the business. What does elegance and grace have to do with the qualifications of the job? If this is what we have to look forward to with this “kinder generation”, give me old school anytime. Each of us knows plenty of shrewd, no nonsense male and female producers who rule with tight iron fists. This is not a popularity contest and clearly these niceties are rare.

    Danette developed and maintained relationships with the “Gatekeepers”. An unspoken word that we knew through our time invested in her that our A+ clients would be taken care of, their confidentiality held intact and would be fair on placement.

    I’m sure with enough time put forth by Melissa she can find her own groove. For now though, it’s a bit hard to be validated or taken seriously when she has yet to master the craft and stooping to use someone else’s seasoned team…so again “Anonymous” we’re all to believe its just as simple as “returning phone calls?” Therein lies the difference of someone still needing to pay her OWN dues. Therein lies the difference of someone still needing to pay her OWN dues.

    In this card game ladies and gentleman, Aces always trump Queens.

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