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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Oscars turn back to Ellen DeGeneres as 2014 host

The Oscars have decided to go in a decidedly different direction this year when it comes to the host - from the sometimes leering, raunchy humor of Seth McFarland to the kinder, gentler humor of Ellen DeGeneres.

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The attempt to reach out to youth a year ago with the man behind "Family Guy" wasn’t altogether successful; bring DeGeneres back for her second go-round in what’s generally a thankless job is an attempt to reach out to middle America.

And not a bad idea at all.

Here’s ABC’s official release:

ELLEN DeGENERES RETURNS TO HOST THE OSCARS®

Television icon Ellen DeGeneres will return to host the Oscars® for a second time, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Academy Awards® will be broadcast live on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014 on the ABC Television Network.

"We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars," said Zadan and Meron. "As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together, and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere, and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theater, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are."

"I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say -- the third time’s the charm," said DeGeneres.

"I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show," said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. "We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show."

"Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience," said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. "She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match."

"It is an honor to welcome back Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the biggest entertainment celebration of the year," said Paul Lee, President, ABC Entertainment Group. "She is the consummate entertainer, equally beloved by her peers in the industry, movie fans and television viewers. We very much look forward to having her back on ABC for Oscar Sunday."

DeGeneres hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007, for which she received a Primetime Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.

DeGeneres has made a home for herself in daytime with her hit syndicated talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which has earned a total of 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons.

Beginning her career as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown of New Orleans, DeGeneres’ acting career in television included roles in several successful sitcoms before being offered a part on "These Friends of Mine" by ABC. After the first season, the show was renamed "Ellen." Running from 1994 to 1998, the show garnered record ratings, with DeGeneres receiving Emmy nominations each season in the Best Actress category. In 1997 DeGeneres was the recipient of the coveted Peabody Award as well as earning an Emmy for writing the critically acclaimed "Puppy Episode," when her character came out as a gay woman to a record 46 million viewers.

DeGeneres has also been successful in her feature film work. She scored unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, Dory, the fish with extreme short-term memory, in the blockbuster Pixar animated feature, "Finding Nemo." DeGeneres recently announced the highly anticipated sequel to "Finding Nemo," Disney-Pixar’s "Finding Dory," currently scheduled to be released in November 2015.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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