This from ABC News:
Barbara Walters is putting an end to one of Oscar night's greatest traditions: her annual sit-down with some of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Today on ABC's "The View," the veteran newswoman announced that after this year, she will no longer host a "Barbara Walters Special" prior to the Oscars. Her program has been an awards night staple for nearly three decades.
"ABC has asked me to keep doing these specials as they have been so successful -- and I'm thrilled we have such great stars and have such a wonderful show -- but to be honest, I feel like I've 'been there, done that,'" Walters said.
"This special has been a labor of love for 29 years. I will always remember when Hugh Jackman gave me a private lap dance or sitting down with the legendary Bette Davis or being taught to tango by Al Pacino," she continued. "It's those priceless moments that have made this special the Oscar tradition that it has become, but I truly feel enough is enough."
Walters promised to go out with a bang. This year, her guests include best actress nominee Sandra Bullock and best supporting actress nominee Mo'Nique. She'll also look back on memorable moments from specials past.
Walters will still continue to do her other annual ABC News special, "The 10 Most Fascinating People," as well as other ABC News specials and "The View."
Over nearly three decades, Walters has talked with some of the most prominent players in the movie industry prior to their big night. On March 31, 1981, Walters launched her series with a star studded lineup of guests including Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and "Bond" girl Barbara Bach.
Through the '80s and '90s, she played host to a bevy of film world legends, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Anthony Hopkins and Steven Spielberg.
Walters also welcomed bold face names from other public spheres into her Oscar special. Her 1986 show featured interviews with the late President Ronald Reagan (who was serving his term at the time) and his wife, Nancy Regan, as well as Prince Charles.
Over the past ten years, Walters has played host to some of today's brightest stars on Oscar night. Sarah Jessica Parker, Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise all took time out of their hectic pre-awards show schedules to talk with her and muse about what it means to be part of the world's premier awards show.
And of course, one of the most memorable and hilarious moments to ever occur on Walters' Oscar special happened last year, when Oscar host Hugh Jackman offered her a performance she probably wasn't expecting: a lap dance.
Don't miss Walters' final Oscar special, Sunday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ABC. On the west coast, Walters' special will air following the awards ceremony. Judging from the show's history, this one is bound to have more than one can't-miss moment.
I have to think that ABC has already been thinking about moving Walters out of the prime pre-Oscars slot. After all, it has had another big-name star ready, as this earlier announcement noted:
In celebration of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, “The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special” returns to ABC WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET). Oprah once again brings together Hollywood’s biggest stars to interview each other in casual, intimate settings, capturing moments seldom seen. The hour-long primetime special will air in the week leading up to the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 7 (5:30 p.m., PT / 8:30 p.m., ET), which will also be broadcast on ABC.