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And the date is...

Academy Awards organizers are talking about moving up the date of the show, possibly as early as January.

At a Tuesday meeting, the academy's board of governors discussed the idea of holding the Oscars earlier. Most recent shows have been held in late February.

A statement Wednesday by the academy said the earliest any date change could take effect would be for the Oscars in 2012. A firm date of Feb. 27 already has been set for next year's 83rd Oscars.

The academy statement said the idea is "being explored as a possibility."

"There are a number of questions still to be answered and challenges to be addressed with regard to moving the show to an earlier date," the statement said. "The academy governors and staff have been and will continue to look into those questions and challenges. No decision has been made and there is currently no timetable for when a decision might be made."

Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, would not comment on why a date change was being considered.

For many years, the Oscars were held in late March but were moved to February in 2004 to shorten what many in Hollywood considered a prolonged awards season.

At the time, Oscar planners said waiting until late March to hand out awards might have been hurting the show's TV ratings, with audiences losing interest by then. Slotting the show in late February brought Hollywood's biggest awards show closer to earlier honors, such as the Golden Globes and ceremonies held by actors and directors guilds.

Critics say that audiences now are inundated with one awards show after another and that the flurry of ceremonies would be more furious if the Oscars were moved earlier.

"Isn't moviemaking all about creating suspense and waiting, waiting, waiting for your payoff?" said Tom O'Neil, a columnist for awards Web site "We're seeing a herd mentality taking effect now."


Abramoff lands job...

Disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff has landed a job at a kosher pizzeria in Baltimore soon after his release from prison.

The owner of Tov Pizza, Ron Rosenbluth, said Abramoff began working there Monday. He is learning about the business and will eventually help with marketing. Abramoff is an Orthodox Jew.

He was released this month from a minimum-security prison camp in western Maryland after serving about 3 1/2 years for fraud, corruption and conspiracy. The former Washington power broker's activities led to the conviction of a congressman.

He reported to a halfway house run by a nonprofit that arranged the job. The restaurant owner says he has hired halfway house residents before and he thinks Abramoff could bring traffic to his 26-year-old business.


Role for second lady...

Lifetime network's "Army Wives" is set to welcome the wife of Vice President Biden in a future episode.

The network announced Wednesday that Jill Biden will make a guest appearance on the military drama to raise awareness of the contributions by U.S. men and women in uniform as well as their families.

She will appear as herself in the episode, titled "Mud, Sweat and Tears." She visits the show's Fort Marshall to kick off the annual Fun Run, and while there meets with military spouses. A number of real Army wives will be featured in the episode, which is scheduled to air Aug. 15.

"Army Wives" stars Kim Delaney and Catherine Bell.

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