After three years without a host, the Oscars will have one when the ceremony airs this March 27 on ABC.
Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals & ABC Entertainment, announced that the Oscars would indeed go to a host (after three years without one) on Tuesday morning, during the ABC portion of the Television Critics’ winter virtual press tour. Association. But he didn’t say who it might be. “Maybe that’s me,” Erwich joked, before touting his confidence in Oscar executive producer Will Packer.
“Will really has his pulse on popular culture and entertainment,” Erwich said. “I know he has a lot in store and we’ll have more details to share soon.”
Jimmy Kimmel was the last Oscar host, having hosted the ceremony in 2017 and 2018 with generally positive reviews. Other hosts over the past decade have included Chris Rock (2016), Neil Patrick Harris (2015), Ellen DeGeneres (2014), Seth MacFarlane (2013), Billy Crystal (2012) and James Franco / Anne Hathaway (2011). The appearances at MacFarlane and Franco / Hathaway were seen by ABC and the Academy as an attempt to attract a younger audience, but critics did not give these releases high marks, to say the least. can tell.
At a time considered to be one of Hollywood’s most coveted accommodation gigs (especially in the era of perennial hosts Bob Hope and Johnny Carson), Oscar work has become more thankless in the age of media. social and incessant criticism from anyone. is on stage. But the real end of the line for the Oscar host came in 2019, when the Academy first announced Kevin Hart in the role. Hart then decided to drop out after the organization asked him to apologize for years-old homophobic tweets; after that, the 2019 event went without a host.
Because the 2019 Oscars saw their scores increase compared to the previous year, the Academy and ABC have also decided to do without a host in 2020. The scores have dropped slightly; but the COVID-delayed 2021 Oscars, which took place at Union Station, also without a host, lost more than half of their audience.
After last year’s Oscars, Variety TV reviewer Dan D’Addario wrote that without a host, the ceremony felt “lost and without a guide.” He wrote:
“The last two Oscar ceremonies had specifically lost the host; the two had been mixed bags, lacking the kind of unifying structure that might have seemed even more urgent this year… This year should serve as a wake-up call for the Academy to bring in someone – anyone – who can. guide the ceremony and make it work for the viewers at home. Call it the end of a few years’ test and call Whoopi Goldberg on the phone, and tell him to watch every 2021 release with an eye on a monologue that explains it all. With a few jokes, please.
ABC surely hopes to reverse that trend this year, after the Oscars fell to 10.4 million viewers in 2021 (as “Nomadland” won Best Picture), up from 23.6 million in 2020 (when “Parasite”) won. won).
Earlier on Tuesday, ABC announced that Glenn Weiss would return to lead the Oscars for the seventh consecutive year.
Will Packer is the executive producer of this year’s Oscars. “The Oscars” will air live on ABC and air in more than 200 territories around the world on Sunday, March 27 (8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT). The ceremony is returning to its usual location at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, following last year’s pandemic-delayed Oscars, which aired from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
The Oscar nominations will be announced on February 8. Here are the predictions of Variety’s Clayton Davis: