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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Patton Oswalt will host the Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 1 on IFC. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com )

Self-admitted film buff Oswalt hosts Spirit Awards


Film buffs enjoy stories, and fully absorb how they are presented.

Self-admitted film buff Patton Oswalt will share that passion when he hosts the 2014 Film Independent Spirit awards on March 1. The awards will take place in the afternoon and then air exclusively on IFC (Independent Film Channel) at 9 p.m.

Those who have seen some of his stand-up comedy know Oswalt for his ability to make references to characters in comic books and some of the best-selling sci-fi films of our time. His improvised riff done as part of a guest appearance on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" became a viral hit.

As host of the Spirit Awards, he hopes to be able to show his love for films and keep the production moving.

Earlier this week, Oswalt held a press conference call to share why he is hosting the awards and why he will give a live dove to each award winner.

"I was not expecting to get asked to host the ISAs. Again, because I am the film buff I am, I hope that I do a good job. But I'm going to be very honest with you, I'm going into this very, very excited but also very, very nervous. We will see what happens," Oswalt said.

During the call, there were quite a few questions about the doves on an awards show known for its "anything goes" reputation.

"That's going to be up to the individual winners. They can keep them. They can set them free. Trust me, I know actors. I know directors. There are all kinds of things they can do with birds. Some I'd rather not go into," he said.

The Film Independent organization was happy to get the comic, writer and actor to host the ceremony.

"Patton's quick wit and ridiculously funny take on society and pop culture is perfect for IFC and perfect for this event," said Jennifer Caserta, the president and general manager of IFC. "We are thrilled our viewers will be able to enjoy this year's show with this incredible talent and distinctive voice at the helm."

RATINGS GROWTH: Although Nielsen, the firm best known for measuring ratings of local and national TV outlets, already bought radio station ratings firm Arbitron … it is not done growing.

Earlier this year, Nielsen announced it would purchase Harris Interactive, a global market research firm.

"For our existing CPG and media clients, our combined capabilities will provide better and more integrated insights to help them drive business outcomes," President John J. Lewis said in a release.

"Harris Interactive's strength with other industry verticals allows us to serve these clients with Nielsen's differentiated solutions in areas such as marketing effectiveness, social and digital to achieve our growth objectives."

Basically, these recent moves give Nielsen the technology and infrastructure needed to be the leader in measuring TV viewership, radio listenership and digital interactivity with advertisements and content-driven websites. With the purchase of Harris Interactive, Nielsen has the largest footprint in an industry worth billions of dollars.

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