30th-spirit-awards-logo-download-600x350Prediction: the Oscar ratings will be down this year.

Based on what? I was asked to blather about the 87th annual awards show on a couple of radio shows this week. Both times the hosts and I got sidetracked and ran out of time before getting to the Oscars. That never happens.

Much as I liked “Birdman,” and have heard good things about “Boyhood,” I just don’t think there’s the same level of engagement with those films as there has been with films in other years.

Or maybe all the heat really has shifted to television.

Or maybe the annual Oscar snoozerama has finally forced viewers elsewhere. There are plenty of other awards shows, including Saturday’s 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards. Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell are hosting. The deal begins early–5 p.m. Hollywood Suite carries them live this year for the first time ever. Even if you don’t subscribe to the wholly Canadian-owned movie channel service you can sample it Saturday on free preview on Rogers’ Channel 488. Bell and Cogeco also offer Hollywood Suite to subscribers.

The Spirit Awards, which take place in a giant tent erected right on Santa Monica beach, have a loose, informal vibe and seem to draw a younger crowd. Seth Rogan and Patton Oswalt have hosted in the past and their shtick was far more live and dangerous and far less P.C. than the usual Oscar stuff. Join the party, early tonight on Hollywood Suite.


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