Will Packer Named To Produce 94th Annual Oscar Broadcast

Will Packer Oscars
Will Packer (Image credit: Oscars)

Will Packer was named to produce the 94th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday.

Award shows have been struggling because traditional star-studded gatherings have been prevented by the pandemic. The Oscars — historically one of most-viewed shows of the year other than football — have been particularly hard hit because movie openings have been delayed until people can go to the theaters safely.

This year’s Oscars telecast on ABC drew 10.4 million people, down 56% from the previous year.

“Will is a powerhouse producer who has enjoyed success across all movie genres. He’s already bringing a boundless energy and a focus on innovation to this year’s Oscars to entertain the widest spectrum of fans,“ Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “Many wonderful surprises ahead!” 

“There is no one better than Will Packer to celebrate our collective love for cinema,” added Craig Erwich, president, Hulu originals and ABC Entertainment. “Will is a world-class hitmaker and the ideal producer to capture the prestige of ‘The Oscars’ and deliver a powerful and moving event.”

The Oscars have also been working on diversity and inclusion since the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trended in 2015.

“The power, the beauty, the romance of the imagery in movies has always attracted me,“ Packer said. ”I’m fully embracing the challenge of bringing an ode to one of the most iconic mediums in the world to life. What an honor!” 

Packer’s television shows include That Girl Lay Lay, Being Mary Jane, Uncle Buck and the remake of Roots. He produced and executive produced such films as The Photograph, What Men Want, Girls Trip, Straight Outta Compton, Ride Along, Think Like a Man, Obsessed and Stomp the Yard.

Shayla Cowan, chief of staff of Will Packer Productions and Will Packer Media, will serve as co-producer alongside Packer. 

The 94th Oscars will be held March 27 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. ABC will broadcast the event, which will be televised in more than 200 territories worldwide.

This year’s Oscars were produced by television producer Jesse Collins, film producer Stacey Sher and director Steven Soderbergh.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.