The industry’s mantra is “The Show Must Go On”, while the right thing to do is cancel it, for now. Especially with the loss of life that has ocurred.

ABC, TV Industry Ask Must the Oscar Show Go On?
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For the ABC network, it is a nearly-unprecedented dilemma: go to 24-hour-a-day, commercial-free news coverage of the war with Iraq or stick with plans to air the highly lucrative Academy Awards on Sunday night as scheduled?
That was the question on Thursday, as the war moved slowly through its first day, with the anticipation among many that the big push that the U.S. military has been promising would come within the next two days.
And the answer, at least according to a number of people who are closely involved with TV and the television industry, is that a brief delay in the show couldn’t hurt anybody and might actually seem like the right thing to do.
“The Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and ABC have to tread really cautiously,” said J. Max Robbins, a senior editor at TV Guide magazine. “People in the industry are really struggling with this.”
ABC is scheduled to broadcast the Oscars live on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. EST and the show’s producers have already said they expect it to run its full, usual 3 1/2 hours.
But earlier this week, they canceled the traditional “red carpet” celebrity entrances before the show, opting instead for more muted arrivals without the glitz and glamour or the chance for a reporter to ask a frivolous or tough question.
ABC has already indefinitely postponed Barbara Walters’ post-Oscar interview show, which has been going on for 22 years.
“We are proceeding and obviously are monitoring the situation on a moment-by-moment basis,” ABC spokesman Kevin Brockman told Reuters. But he said as of Thursday morning the status quo, that the show would go on, remained.
“The Oscars have had weeks to consider what’s happening … and now they have even more information,” Bryce Zabel, the chief executive of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, told Reuters. “They can make a much more informed decision about what they think Sunday will be like.”
Zabel knows something about postponed awards — his organization puts on TV’s annual Emmy Awards, which had to be postponed twice in late 2001, once after the Sept. 11 attacks and again when the U.S. began its bombing campaign in Afghanistan the same day as the rescheduled show.
But Zabel said he thought that, as in his situation, money would not be a significant factor in deciding whether or not to go ahead with the show.
“The networks probably aren’t planning to make the same money they would have made anyway,” he said.
The live Oscar telecast is one of TV’s biggest nights, ranking only behind professional football’s Super Bowl in terms of advertising potential. Last year’s show drew 42 million U.S. viewers. Ad spots for this year’s show sold for between $1.3 million and $1.45 million for 30-second slots.
Some industry experts said that if nothing else, it might seem distasteful to carry on with the awards.
“It’s pretty close, and there simply may be a little taste issue (in) that you’re having this almost hedonistic display of self-congratulation of the entertainment industry when the smoke hasn’t cleared from the first missiles,” Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, told Reuters.
But beyond the issue of taste, Thompson said there could be some more practical concerns in airing the show, which the network typically turns into a high-profile showcase.
“You want your Oscar story to be front page news; if you do it Sunday the only front page news will be ‘Should they have played the Oscars last night?”‘ Thompson said.
But TV Guide’s Robbins said the fact the network and the Academy needed to proceed cautiously did not mean that they had to scrap the show entirely.
“At this point I don’t know if there’s a reason to postpone it,” he said.