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Oscars 2013: Producers look to avoid boring parts

Oscar producers Neil Meron (left) and Craig Zadan during a press interview in early 2013.
February 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Last year's Oscar winners Jean Dujardin, Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer, will all be returning to the Dolby Theatre's stage as presenters for this year's show.

While that tradition stays intact, Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said their research inspired them to try some new things for 2013. They hunkered down and watched more than 40 years of past Oscars shows to prepare themselves for the task of putting together this year's show.

"It just liberated us, just in terms of our thinking about how we're going to produce our show," Meron said.

One main thing they learned, in the most entertaining Oscar telecasts, the producers took chances and knew when to go with the flow.

They also learned what not to do.

"When you watch 30 or 40 years of Oscars, you see a commonality of time-consuming elements and you say, 'Well, what is that for?' and that used up 15 seconds, that used up 30 seconds, and you start adding up those 30 seconds and you have an accumulation of time that you can use for entertainment," Zadan said.

With all this production value, the producers know they still need to at least try to keep this show to its three-hour time frame. The keyword being "try."

"We're going to keep it very, very tight," Zadan said. "We've cut a lot of other stuff that will move the show along pacing-wise, so we have more time for entertainment."

"I think every Oscar producer's intention is to end on time, and yet in going over the history of the Oscars, none really has," Meron said.

The 85th annual Oscars air live Feb. 24 on ABC7.

Who do you think will take home an Oscar this year? Play the MyPicks game to choose who you think will win, and don't forget to challenge your friends on Facebook.

Have a smart phone or tablet? Download the free official Oscars app to get news and updates about the show. It's available for Apple, Android and Kindle devices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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