Producer Will Packer can soon add the 94th annual Academy Awards telecast to his already long and impressive resume. The Emmy-nominated producer was just announced as the live broadcast’s showrunner, which will air Sunday, March 27, 2022.
“The power, the beauty, the romance of the imagery in movies has always attracted me,” Packer said in a statement. “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!”
Though already an expert filmmaker in his own right, best known for his work on Girls Trip, Straight Outta Compton, and Ride Along among others, producing this telecast is a welcome challenge. He has no prior experience with the Oscars award ceremony nor any other experience of note with live telecasts at all.
Shayla Cowan, chief of staff of Will Packer Productions and Will Packer Media, will serve as co-producer of the broadcast alongside Packer.
The Academy is likely hoping Packer’s skill will garner more viewers for the program, as awards shows have experienced significant dips in broadcast viewership across the board. Largely credited to streaming viewership becoming the standard, the decrease in viewer numbers has driven awards ceremonies to reimagine their broadcast formats.
Notably, this year’s 2021 Academy Awards telecast was produced by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and featured a smaller venue and no formal host. While these changes were partially enacted for COVID-19 safety, they also gave ABC an opportunity to test what resonates with dwindling audiences. The move reportedly brought in an audience of 10.4 million viewers according to The Hollywood Reporter.