Adam Shankman, the dancing Oscar producer
The story here is Adam Shankman. He's a director/choreographer and dancer. He's a judge on the current season of So You Think You Can Dance. His biggest credit is Hairspray, one of the few movie musicals that has made it to the big screen and was a bit hit in the last decade. Shankman should bring movement, energy and -- perhaps -- dance to the Academy Awards?
As long as it's not mindless moving around the stage and nobody is dressed up like Snow White, that might be a good thing. One of the highlights last year was Hugh Jackman pulling Anne Hathaway from the audience for an impromptu dance, remember? (However, the re-creation of the Oscar-winning song "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire, wasn't as good as the clips for the movie.)
One thing in Shankman's favor is that this year there will be ten -- count 'em ten -- Best Picture nominees. Presumably that will open the Oscars for more box office successful films to snag a nomination. With more popular titles in the nominees, perhaps more TV viewers will tune in, which is a big part of the whole broadcast. If it was really all about the prizes, they could do the presentations without television cameras.
Shankman, therefore, is tasked with making the show entertaining and fun. Mechanic, who is the former chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, will be doing the nuts and bolts behind the scenes, like lining up big names to present and appear. Shankman has already said that he's up for a fun Academy Awards. "[We will] celebrate the world's collective love of movies and provide a fun escape from the difficult times were living in."