Oscars ceremony will be hostless for second year running

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ABC has confirmed that the Academy awards will be without a traditional host after execs were ‘extremely happy’ with last year’s telecast

Guardian film

Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who presented at the Oscars ceremony in 2019. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

This year’s Oscars ceremony will be without a traditional host for the second year running, according to the ABC entertainment president, Karey Burke.

Given the lack of official announcement with just weeks to go, industry experts had already predicted the decision but Burke has now officially confirmed a lack of host at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.

“We expect that we’re going to have a very commercial set of nominations and a lot of incredible elements have come together that make us think we are going to have a very entertaining show again,” she said.

Burke also teased that this year’s telecast would boast “huge entertainment values, big musical numbers, comedy and star power”.

Last year’s original host, Kevin Hart, stepped down after online anger over a resurfaced past of homophobic jokes and tweets. The actor initially chose not to apologise but then backtracked before removing himself as host. The ceremony instead relied on big-name presenters and an opening performance by Queen.

The decision worked for ABC, with ratings up over 11% year on year and nearly 30m viewers tuning in. At the time Burke said she was “extremely happy” with how the telecast turned out and later in May, she suggested that the network would not be “messing with that format”.

The news follows a mixed response to the return of Ricky Gervais as host of this year’s Golden Globes. In the New York Times, James Poniewozik wrote that his performance was “sometimes uncomfortable, but not especially daring” while for Variety, Daniel D’Addario called him “more shrewd than funny”. The ratings for the ceremony were down 2% on the previous year.

The Oscar nominations will be revealed on 13 January with 1917, The Irishman, Marriage Story, Parasite and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood all predicted to be major contenders. The awards will be handed out on 9 February.

 

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