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And Cates makes eight

Cates tapped 70th Oscarcast producer

Gilbert Cates will produce the Academy Awards show for a record-tying eighth time, it was announced Thursday by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.

“Gil has become the consummate Oscar show producer, consistently garnering top television ratings for the telecast,” Acad president Robert Rehme said. “His shows are full of wit, charm and surprise.”

For Cates, who also produced last year’s show, producing the 70th Oscars will tie him with previous record-holder Howard W. Koch for most shows produced. Koch produced eight Oscarcasts between 1972 and 1983.

Cates’ seven previous Oscar productions have garnered 53 Emmy nominations and 10 awards, more than any other producer. Cates won an Emmy in 1991 for producing the 63rd Academy Awards show.

“It’s the greatest thrill-ride in the carnival,” said Cates of producing the Oscarcast. “It’s like trying to juggle while riding a roller-coaster. I’m delighted Bob Rehme asked me again.”

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Last year’s telecast received the second-lowest ratings in the show’s history, with an average 27.4 rating/46 share. The poor showing probably was due at least in part to the fact that few Hollywood blockbusters were represented among the key nominations.

A past member of the Academy’s board of governors representing the directors branch, Cates has served as dean of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television for seven years, and is a former two-term president of the Directors Guild of America.

Cates’ feature film directing credits include 1970’s “I Never Sang for My Father,” which received three Oscar nominations, and 1973’s “Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams,” which collected two noms. His numerous television credits include the 1991 telefilm “Absolute Strangers,” which he directed.

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