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Oscars buzz on the Net

Hollywood's big night of stars, drama, and fashion provides fodder for myriad Web sites from all walks of the Net.

As the world tunes in to Hollywood's annual parade of stars, drama, and fashion, a collection of Internet sites devoted to the Oscars is providing an interactive alternative to the televised event., the official Web site produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC, will feature a smorgasbord of information for curious surfers who want to read up on the nominees and presenters.

The site will include live streaming video of red carpet arrivals at the Shrine Auditorium and interviews with the winners soon after they accept their awards. Surfers also can use the site as a background tool to study the event's history and trivia.

In posing a challenge to the Academy's site, publications dedicated to Hollywood and the film industry also have been building sites for tonight's fete. Hollywood Online, Entertainment Weekly, E Online, and Time Warner's Pathfinder, for instance, feature live chat from the Shrine, photos, and video clips from nominated films. The sites also include interactive games and historical trivia.

Moviegoers who rely on thumb-based reviews for their movie choices can surf through the Siskel and Ebert site for a more critical look at the Oscars. The site also lists the duo's personal picks for each nominated category and features reviews of current releases.

News sites from an assortment of traditional media also have found common ground in the Oscars.

Television news sites such as those by CNN and MSNBC as well as ABC's Mr. ShowBiz have created pages featuring movie background information and opinion polls, and they promise video clips from the ceremony.

Likewise, print media outfits such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and TV Guide have been adding to the traditional pre-Oscar hype and have set up customized sites for the occasion.

America Online also will be covering the event with previews, film reviews, and real-time online polling throughout the ceremony.