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Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin to co-host Oscars

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will co-host the Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says the two  will share hosting duties at the 82nd Academy Awards on March 7. This will be Martin's third time handling the chores and Baldwin's first.

In a press release announcing the team, Martin quipped, "I am happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin." The "30 Rock" star countered, "I don't play the banjo but I'm thrilled to be hosting the Oscars - it's the opportunity of a lifetime."

They follow in the immediate footsteps of Hugh Jackman, who hosted the 81st show and was generally seen as a hit with viewers and critics. If ratings didn't spike, it was because of the nominees, not the host.

The news about Martin, one of the smoothest hosts in recent years, is welcome but Baldwin is more associated with TV roles than movies these days. He was nominated for his supporting role in "The Cooler" and scored a Tony nomination for "A Streetcar Named Desire," but TV viewers see him and think Jack Donaghy from "30 Rock."

Here's the official press release from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

Beverly Hills, CA - Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will serve as co-hosts of the 82nd Academy Awards, Oscar telecast producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman announced today.

"We think the team of Steve and Alec are the perfect pair of hosts for the Oscars," said Shankman and Mechanic. "Steve will bring the experience of having hosted the show in the past and Alec will be a completely fresh personality for this event."

"I am happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin," said Martin.

"I don't play the banjo but I'm thrilled to be hosting the Oscars - it's the opportunity of a lifetime," said Baldwin.

Martin hosted the 73rd and 75th Academy Awards shows, earning an Emmy nomination for the first stint. He has also served as a presenter on the show several times, most recently at the ceremony in February when he appeared with Tina Fey. He is currently touring with the bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers in support of his latest album "The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo." In 1977 and 1978 Martin won Grammys for Best Comedy Recording. He earned a third Grammy in 2001 in the Best Country Instrumental Performance category. In 2007 Martin earned a Kennedy Center Honor.

Baldwin was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 for his supporting role in "The Cooler." That year also marked his most recent appearance as a presenter on the show. Baldwin currently stars as Jack Donaghy on the comedy "30 Rock," a role for which he has won two Emmys (in 2008 and 2009). Baldwin earned a Tony nomination in 1992 for his performance in "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

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