EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: It was bad enough that just about every eligible tune in the Best Original Song category was omitted from this year’s Academy Awards nominations. Or that, due to their complicated voting system, the music branch of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences saw fit to nominate only two songs: Rio’s “Real In Rio” and The Muppets’ ”Man or Muppet” when well-known artists like Elton John, Mary J. Blige, and Sinead O’Connor also had terrific songs in the mix. But now Deadline has learned that neither nominated song will be performed during the Oscar telecast as things stand now. We understand that both studios — Rio‘s Fox and The Muppets‘ Disney — formally protested the decision to skip but received turn-downs. “It seems like a huge missed opportunity to me, and we certainly tried,” one song insider just told us. Said another song insider: “It doesn’t make sense. They could have so much fun with Muppets and Rio staging.”
Though this decision sounds firm because of the telecast’s pressure-cooker time constraints, some of those affected hope all-powerful Academy Awards telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer still have a work in progress. “The show is not locked yet. Decisions about this and other things continue to be evaluated by the team trying to produce the most entertaining 3 hours possible,” one authoritative source just emailed us. “Someone ‘leaking’ this possibility to you is just another way for people to try and influence the creative direction of the show. And there have been Oscar shows that did not have the nom songs performed.” Indeed Alan Carr’s infamous 1989 Oscars performed no songs, and another recent broadcast presented a clip reel of the warbling. Hey, for what it’s worth, we want the songs every year.