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ABC News’ Role in Michelle Obama’s Oscar Act

The LA Times has a behind-the-scenes look at Michelle Obama‘s starring role in the Academy Awards Sunday night. The first lady did the honors, awarding Best Picture to “Argo.” ABC News played a big part in making it happens, writes Steven Zeitchik:

To reduce the risk of a leak, ABC News’ political bureau, rather than its entertainment division, was involved in the physical production. Producers and the first lady’s office also found a room that wouldn’t be needed all weekend, since technicians needed to begin set-up on Saturday. The Diplomatic Reception Room – a space that has enjoyed myriad uses over the years, including the site for FDR’s fireside chats – fit the bill. (Producers Craig and Neil) Zadan and Meron also kept all but the top executives out of the loop; Disney’s Robert Iger and Anne Sweeney were among the few not directly involved with the show who knew.

> Update: Turns out ABC News was not involved in the set-up. Rather, it was handled through ABC’s West Coast entertainment division. “We were just as surprised as everyone else when the first lady appeared on the show,” ABC News SVP Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser.

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