Though the event is all about honoring the accomplishments on the big screen, the Oscars is often small-screen-centric. After all, the awards are given on TV, and often hosted by a television personality – this year, Jimmy Kimmel repeats his role as the leader of the ceremony – and nominees increasingly have backgrounds in TV.
Jordan Peele nominated for three Oscars (original screenplay, directing and best picture) for his movie “Get Out” was a star of Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele.”
One of Peele’s fellow nominees in the original screenplay category, for “The Big Sick,” is Kumail Nanjiani, current star of HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”
For some nominees in the acting categories, the TV roots go even deeper. Laurie Metcalf, nominated for her supporting role in “Lady Bird,” won three Emmys for her role in “Roseanne,” and is poised to reprise that role when the show returns to ABC later this month.
One of her fellow nominees for her role in “I, Tonya,” Allison Janney has four Emmys, earned for her role as C.J. Cregg, the White House press secretary on NBC’s “The West Wing”; two statues for Bonnie Plunkett, a recovering addict and mom to a recovering addict, on CBS’ “Mom”; and one more as Margaret Scully, frustrated wife of a closeted gay man, on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.”
In the supporting actor category, the big TV vet is Woody Harrelson (“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”), better known to a generation as Woody Boyd, the slightly dim-witted bartender from Indiana on “Cheers,” for which he won an Emmy.
Best actress nominee Meryl Streep (“The Post”) has given TV her fair share, starring in HBO’s adaption of “Angels in America,” for which she won an Emmy. And fellow nominee Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”) also boasts an Emmy for her performance as the title character in “Olive Kitteridge.”
And though the best actor nominees have smatterings of TV appearances, Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”) boasts an entire series run on NBC’s “St. Elsewhere,” as Dr. Philip Chandler.
ABC is treating this year’s Oscars somewhat like the Super Bowl, with programming related to the show starting at noon Sunday; the “Opening Ceremonies Live from the Red Carpet” begin at 5:30 p.m., and the actual awards show starts at 7 p.m. on Ch. 27. Tune in just to see if there’s another envelope mix-up like last year, when the wrong film was announced as best picture. Isn’t live TV fun?