Lorne Michaels Will Not Produce the Oscars

15. Lorne Michaels
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Michaels has spent 36 years as NBC's resident talent tastemaker, helping spawn dozens of lucrative film and TV careers worth billions. But he's also kept Saturday nights at 11:30 a sacred time slot for the more than 7 million viewers who still tune in to hear, "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!"

The Saturday Night Live veteran had been courted to shepherd the 85th annual Academy Awards in February.

Lorne Michaels has decided not to produce the 2013 Academy Awards show, well-placed sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

The Saturday Night Live veteran, who also is a successful film and television producer, had been courted by outgoing Academy president Tom Sherak to shepherd the 85th annual Oscars in February. Michaels was said to have been interested in job and had approached Late Night host Jimmy Fallon, an SNL alum, to host.

But Disney CEO Robert Iger was said to disapprove of Fallon, whose NBC talk show competes with Jimmy Kimmel Live on Disney's ABC network, which airs the Oscars telecast. Iger is not on the Academy's board but he is spearheading its current fundraising drive for its planned Los Angeles museum.

Fallon on Thursday told Matt Lauer that he won't host the show this year. "It's an honor to be asked by the Academy, but it's not my year," he said on NBC's Today. And sources now say Michaels has similarly informed the Academy that he won't produce the show this year.

The decision is a setback for new Academy president Hawk Koch, who now must start from scratch in his search for a producer and host for next year's show. (The Academy traditionally hires the producer, who then brings in the host.) The LA Times reported that producer Sid Ganis, a former Academy president, had been approached to produce with Michaels. But it's not clear if Ganis would be offered the job now that Michaels has passed.   

The Academy and Michaels' press rep did not respond to a request for comment.

Email: Kim.Masters@thr.com

Twitter: @KimMasters