UPDATE 8/8/12: Jimmy Fallon revealed this morning on NBC's Today show that the Academy had indeed asked him to host the Oscars in 2013, but that he's turned them down, saying, "I was honored to be asked by the Academy, but it's not my year."
There's currently no word on who the Academy is now seeking for next year's hosting duties.
The L.A. Times is reporting that the Motion Picture Academy, the branch of the AMPAS that actually handles the Oscar awards ceremony, has begun discussions with Jimmy Fallon to host the 2013 Academy Awards, and with Fallon's old boss, Saturday Night Live honcho Lorne Michaels, to produce the ceremony. But, as it seems is always the case when it comes to Oscar hosts, nothing is that simple.
The Academy wants Fallon to host, presumably because he's an innocent and likeable enough comedian that's not going to court controversy, something the Oscars distance themselves from (unlike the Golden Globes), but the network that actually airs the ceremony is objecting. The holdup is that ABC has paid a steep price to exclusively broadcast the event and Fallon's NBC show is the network's direct late-night competition. It's reported that Bob Iger, CEO of ABC's parent company, Disney, isn't keen on the idea of giving such a high-profile spotlight to someone who could potentially steal their viewers if, say, they're impressed and then decide to watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon over their own Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Contractually, however, Iger's objection doesn't factor. ABC's broadcast deal with the Motion Picture Academy does not include veto power over who they select as the host, so they're under no obligation to cease negotiations. We'll be curious to see if Iger can still exert enough pressure to make the deal go away, but if not, it looks like the SNL duo will be walking the red carpet in 2013.
What do you think: will Fallon make a good host if he's cleared for the gig?
Follow along on Twitter: @PeterSHall and @Moviesdotcom.