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From the newsdesk: The envelope please...

A look back at the Oscars and the latest on the Anna Nicole Smith saga
/ Source: Access Hollywood

The envelope please: The ratings news for Sunday’s Oscars turns out to be not bad, considering. A bit lean on movies that moviegoers had actually seen, the ratings news could have been awful. According to ABC, they were up. The network is now crowing about 39.9 million viewers and a 14.0 rating among adults 18 to 49, up in both categories over last year. The big show was also up in each of the key female demographics: women 18 to 34, up 15 percent, women 18 to 49, up six percent, and Women 25 to 54 up 3 percent. ABC is also claiming the biggest audience among adults 18 to 34 since 2002.

The show: We won’t bore you with our critique of the actual Oscar show. There are enough critics who get paid to do that. But, to paraphrase Joe Queenan, writing in Sunday’s L.A. Times, did you notice last night how little the movies being trumpeted resemble the movies actually available at your local multiplex?

Gored: You might have seen a big moment for Al Gore last night. Dragged up on stage to join the producers of “An Inconvenient Truth” (a winner in the Feature Documentary category) he showed passion, vision, humor, class. All the things that make a man a potential president. And his moment with Leonardo DiCaprio might turn out to be the moment when his run for tThe White House left the starting blocks. Might. But a candidate has to be careful of Hollywood, and too much of a good thing. The perception (and Hollywood is the epicenter of the perception business) is that Hollywood people are liberal. And that label can rub off on a candidate. Hence Obama-Clinton’s money-raising but low-flying visits to Hollywood last week.

Green Oscars? We hate to pick on someone when they’re trying to do the right thing, but that idea of the greening of the Oscars last night was just too much. We had been teased last week with phone calls about something big being announced. Then the follow-up calls came this morning, along with an e-mail detailing what actually constituted this Greening declaration. Here are some of their ideas:

  • Energy audit of Kodak Theatre; efficiency plan and recommendations.
  • Renewable energy credits were purchased... to offset carbon emissions from pre-show, red-carpet event, Oscar telecast and Governor’s Ball.
  • Use of ecologically superior paper for telecast and non-telecast event materials such as nomination ballots, envelopes, press materials, programs, invitations and certificates.
  • Hybrid vehicle transportation provided for presenters and staff.
  • Comprehensive recycling system instituted for event waste.
  • Crew meals and craft services included reusable service materials and accessories, post-consumer tissue products, and biodegradable dishware.
  • Governors’ Ball menu featured organic and environmentally-friendly food, including seafood, dairy, produce, and even the large chocolate Oscar.

Now who can argue with any of these things? Nobody. But how can you possibly call this event green when use of a handful of hybrid vehicles is offset by literally a fleet of gas-guzzling limos? And check out item No. 2 which refers to renewable energy credits to “offset carbon emissions.” That presumably would refer to the diesel and gas operated generators that are used to bring light and energy to a show that is too big for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to handle. In years past, there have been as many as 50 of them. And this morning local news showed a piled of presumably non-recycled paper that made the street outside the Kodak look like Mardi Gras on Wednesday.

Again, hooray for Hollywood for trying to help educate us to a better way. Keep doing it. But just understand your own basic tenent: Perception is everything. The Academy Awards show is a night of excess: the most dazzling jewels, the most beautiful gowns, stunning hair and makeup, the heartfelt speeches, the best picture. Oscar night is not about modesty or moderation. And the definition of green is about living in moderation.

Anna Nicole news: Physically and emotionally tired, Larry Birkhead arrived in the Bahamas over the weekend and was attempting for a second time to gain custody of Dannielynn. He and Virgie Arthur once again faced a media frenzy in their on-going dispute with Howard K. Stern.

In a related matter, despite an appeal in Florida, Richard Milstein, Dannielynn’s court appointed guardian, says he’s well underway with plans to let Anna’s body rest next to her son Daniel’s unmarked grave. It looks like Anna’s funeral could be as close as Friday, if the court of appeals does not overturn Judge Seidlin’s decision. Larry Birkhead tells us he will be there. The whole sad matter drags on.

Jail time: Bobby Brown ended up in jail in Massachusetts last night, and this morning a judge said he will stay there until he comes up with $19,000 for child support payments that are in arrears.

Release of the day: Each day we’ll try and give you the highlights of some of the more outrageous and/or entertaining news releases that come at us through the mail or over the internet.

Today’s is from Vivid Entertainment. It alerts us to the news about the new sex video “starring” Kim Kardashian. But now the release of said sex video is on hold. Sounds like the lawyers have gotten involved even though the Vivid folks think they have a perfect right to distribute this Very Private Video. What’s great about the release is that it notes that “The sexy Ms. Kardashian, a high profile socialite and fashion entrepreneur, is the daughter of O.J. Simpson lawyer Robert Kardashian, the stepdaughter of Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner and the best friend of Paris Hilton” and that “Ray J, her sexual partner in the video, is a best-selling indie hip hop recording artist who has been linked with Lil’ Kim and most recently Whitney Houston.” Name-dropper.

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