The Oscars — Audience Excited About Young Hosts


The THR/Penn Schoen Berland poll surveys viewer opinion as plans for the 83rd Academy Awards begin.

When Academy Awards producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced Nov. 29 that fresh-faced actors James Franco, 32, and Anne Hathaway, 28, will host February’s telecast, many saw it as an attempt to generate interest among younger movie fans. The ploy worked: The Hollywood Reporter enlisted global research company Penn Schoen Berland to conduct an online poll of 700 awards-show viewers on a wide range of Oscar-related topics, including the hosts. The firm conducted two surveys — before the host announcement and after — and the results reveal a significant boost in interest among viewers. “Awards-show watchers give the surprising Franco-Hathaway pairing two thumbs up,” says Jon Penn, THR’s lead pollster. “Oscar is on his way to being more accessible, fresh and cool.” Good news for Cohen and Mischer: At least so far, viewers like you. They really, really like you.