The Courier-Mail



HE REVOLUTION­ISED the game of cricket, and now Aussie TV executive David Hill has been tasked with revamping the ailing Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences yesterday announced Hill had been hired, along with Django Unchained producer Reginald Hudlin, to produce next year’s ceremony.

The appointing of Hill seems an inspired choice, given he was the man who teamed up with Channel 9’s Kerry Packer to launch World Series cricket in the 1970s.

Later in his career, Hill became chairman and chief executive of Fox Sports Media Group, and rejuvenate­d reality show American Idol when it was struggling in the ratings.

Clearly the Academy hopes he will have a similar magic touch in 2016.

The most recent Oscars, hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris in February, was a ratings flop, with its figure of 37.3 million US viewers its lowest audience since 2009. The Australian broadcast on Nine was also down 29 per cent on the previous year.

“What a great and exciting honour,” Hill (right) said of his appointmen­t.

“The quest is to honour the year in film, honour the art, and above all, make (the ceremony) fun.”

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs described Hill as a “true innovator” with a “dynamic personalit­y”.

“We’re delighted to have this talented team,” she said.

“His vast experience as a live events producer, coupled with Reggie’s energy, creativity and talent as a filmmaker, is sure to make (the) telecast memorable.”

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