It’s no secret the many award shows are struggling to pull numbers these days and the Oscars are no exception. Despite stay-at-home mandates and a lot of controversy surrounding last year’s Academy Awards, the ceremony hit a shockingly low amount of viewers in 2020 when only 9.85 million people tuned into watch. While almost 10 million people might not seem so bad in theory, it marks a staggering 13.75 million drop from 2019, or just over a 58% decrease in viewers. To add insult to injury, the Oscars ratings also took a nosedive, scoring a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 — a 64.2% dip from 2020. Needless to say, the Academy is looking for a way to fix this major problem, and it would seem their proposed answer is film producer Will Packer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Will Packer (Girls Trip, Straight Outta Compton, Think Like a Man) has been tapped to produce the broadcast of the 2022 Oscars. Packer marks the second filmmaker asked to helm the project, following last year’s Steven Soderberg, the director of films such as Erin Brockovich and Traffic. Packer comes to the job with no prior Oscar or television broadcast experience but brings with him a whole lot of commercial success and enthusiasm.
“The power, the beauty, the romance of the imagery in movies has always attracted me,” said Packer. “I’m fully embracing the challenge of bringing an ode to one of the most iconic mediums in the world to life. What an honor!”
Following the reveal, Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson released a joint statement citing Packer’s success in all genres as the reason they selected him for the role. The pair then stated Packer is “already bringing a boundless energy and a focus on innovation to this year’s Oscars to entertain the widest spectrum of fans” and “many wonderful surprises” lie ahead. The Oscars will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 27, 2022 at the Dolby Theatre.