Bill Condon, Jennifer Hudson, Laurence Mark, Ricky Gervais

Junko Kimura/Getty Images ; ABC / Tim Ogier

Ricky Gervais as the next host of the Oscars?

Not so fast.

No doubt the Extras funnyman knows how to crack us up, but reports of him already being a leading contender for hosting duties have been greatly—well, hugely—exaggerated.

"We haven't made one single phone call," Larry Mark, who was announced yesterday as a coproducer of the 81st Annual Academy Awards show with writer-director Bill Condon (above, left with Jennifer Hudson and Mark) told me earlier today.

"There has been no reaching out."

"We haven't gotten that far yet," said Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. "We're just not there yet."

Ganis knows they'll never please everyone no matter who they pick for the top job. "If you toss up all the opinions on last year's shows and they all came down, 50 percent of them will say, 'It was a sensational show' and fifty percent of them say, 'Uck, it's the worst thing I have ever seen on television,' " he said. "It's hard. Everyone has an opinion."

Unfortunately, last year's Oscar telecast with Jon Stewart as host hit an all-time ratings low with just 32 million U.S. viewers, down about 8 million from 2007.

This will be Mark and Condon's first time producing the Oscars. The show telecasts live from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on ABC Feb. 22.

"We were taken aback for a moment," Mark said about being offered the gig. "And then we took a moment to figure our schedules and whatever else, and then we were like, This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance." (Condon wasn't available for an interview today because he is finishing a script for a movie he's going to direct about comedian Richard Pryor.)

Mark comes to the job with a lengthy producing résumé that includes Jerry Maguire, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion and Dreamgirls. Condon wrote and directed Dreamgirls, Gods and Monsters and Kinsey.

As for pumping up the ratings, Ganis said a lot depends on what movies are nominated. "Hopefully, there will be films in contention this year that are of a more populist nature," he said.

Not that he wasn't a fan of last year's big winners like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, but "I also know that all of them were kind of on the low side in terms of eyeballs."

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