barbara walters1 This will be the last year BARBARA WALTERS hosts an Academy Awards television special.

Barbara Walters

Ending a 29-year tradition, Walters will sit down before the awards air with nominees SANDRA BULLOCK (nominated for her dramatic role in “The Blind Side”) and Mo’NIQUE (nominated for Best Supporting Actress in “Precious”).
   Walters isn’t retiring. Even though she’s 80, she’ll continue to do “The View” gabfest. But one clue why she’s hanging up the Oscar specials is that celebrity interview have lost their luster because so many celebrities are so overexposed. It’s not harder to interview celebrities now; it’s harder to interview a celebrity who hasn’t been all over the place. And today, you have people who are, as they say, famous just for being famous.
   Might explain why OPRAH WINFREY’s Oscar special this past Wednesday was a ratings bust (down 19 percent from the recently canceled “Ugly Betty” in that time slot).
   By the way, Walters thinks both Bullock and Mo’Nique will win.


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