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Oscar exec producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, speaking to Pete Hammond of Deadline, give the distinct impression that a tight Oscarcast is out of reach. 

Deadline: You have a big musical theme for the Oscar show this year with a lot more entertainment planned than usual. How are you going to bring this in at three hours?

Zadan: They would like it to be three hours and we are doing as much as we can to bring it in as close to three hours. It’s not going to be three hours but we will try to get it close to that.

Meron: What Oscar show has been?  If you look at the past shows as we have done they are not. Take a look at the Grammy Awards. They hand about 11 awards in 3 1/2 hours. And we have to do all 24 awards plus we want to do our theme which is music of the movies.

Hopefully, we will share their vision – otherwise it’s really going to be a long night:

Meron:  At the end of the day we have to be happy with our show. That’s the key. Because it’s a kind of no-win proposition doing the Oscars. People are probably already lining up to throw their bricks at us. But in the end if we’re happy with it that’s all that matters.

Zadan: We’re not saying the show is better than any other show. We aren’t saying this is the Oscar show. What we feel is we are doing the show we want to see. In our minds we saw an Oscar show in our fantasy of what we would like to see as an Oscar show. And we’re recreating that fantasy. Is it going to work? We don’t know. What we don’t want to do is play it safe.