Django Unchained Oscar nominee Hudlin is no stranger to the Academy, having been tapped by President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to produce last year’s nontelevised Governors Awards. As my colleague Mike Fleming and I pointed out in our piece last month on the search for new Oscar producers, Hudlin was thought to be a personal favorite of Boone Isaacs, so his name was always in the mix.
Hill is more of a surprise, but the former Fox TV executive has vast experience in live television, particularly during his time as Chairman and CEO of Fox Sports Media Group. He won an Emmy for the 2011 World Series broadcast. His most recent position at Fox was as EVP of 21st Century Fox, and was an executive producer on American Idol for the past two seasons. He recently left the company to start his own production shingle, Hilly, with an emphasis on live and reality television.
Certainly that is the kind of expertise the Oscar show can use. Hudlin brings lots of film experience to the table as well as some awards cred. In addition to the Governors Awards, he also has been an executive producer of the NAACP Awards show since 2012. He was the first President of Entertainment for BET Networks from 2005-09, where he oversaw programming. His film credits include Boomerang, The Great White Hype and House Party (also as a writer on the latter). He earned a 2012 Best Picture Oscar nomination as a producer of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. His numerous TV credits include executive producer on The Boondocks, The Black Panther and as director of series such as Modern Family, New Girl and The Office.
“What a great and exciting honor! The quest is to honor the year in film, honor the art, and above all, make it fun,” said Hill in the Academy’s official release announcing the selection. “I’m looking forward to working with the Academy again, ” said Hudlin. ” I love every kind of film and this year’s awards will be a celebration of the total range of cinema.”For her part Boone Isaacs said the Academy was “delighted to have this talented team on board”. Both are newcomers to the Oscar show which was produced the previous three years by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron who decided not to return to do the show again this year. The next big question is who will the new Oscar producers choose to host? Any suggestions you would like to pass along to them?
The 88th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 and broadcast live on ABC.