The Oscars will formally go on with out a host for the second consecutive yr. Final awards season, the Academy had pegged Kevin Hart to be the ceremony’s emcee, however he stepped down shortly after the unique announcement resulting from controversy surrounding offensive feedback he made previously. Quite than discovering a alternative for Hart, the Academy opted to have a host-less Oscars for the primary time since 1989 (yr of the notorious Rob Lowe/Snow White debacle). At first look, that appeared like a recipe for catastrophe (particularly contemplating every thing else the Academy could not get proper final yr), however the present ended up being very fruitful.
The 2019 Oscars broadcast noticed a big uptick in rankings from 2018’s all-time low numbers, suggesting that maybe the Academy had inadvertently stumbled right into a successful method. Over the previous a number of months (and as lately as December), phrase was the Oscars have been going to run with the host-less format once more in 2020. Now, ABC has gone forward and made it official, just below a month earlier than the telecast.
Talking at TCA (hat tip Deadline), ABC leisure president Karey Burke formally introduced the plans for this yr’s present, teasing every thing the community has in retailer:
“Along with the Academy, now we have determined there shall be no conventional host, repeating for us what labored final yr. [It will have] large leisure values, massive musical numbers, comedy and star energy.”
As Burke alludes to, the success of the 2019 Oscars is what influenced this determination. Viewers and critics have been happy by how the printed turned out, remarking that it moved alongside at a good tempo and did not get slowed down in ill-conceived sketches that doomed the present (like Jimmy Kimmel’s scorching canine canon stunt). That is undoubtedly a case of “if it ain’t broke, do not repair it,” and it will be fascinating to see how the Oscars fare this yr. The 2019 Academy Awards seemingly obtained a lift due to the sheer recognition of a few of the Greatest Image nominees, as main hits like A Star is Born and Black Panther made the sector. This yr’s crop is anticipated to incorporate high-profile choices corresponding to Joker and As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood (amongst others), so cinephiles will most likely be inclined to tune in.
It has been mentioned earlier than, however Oscar host is mostly a thankless job these days, placing whoever it’s in a no-win situation. Hosts are criticized in the event that they’re too vanilla, however they’re additionally blasted for being too controversial (a la Ricky Gervais on the Golden Globes). Those that have fond recollections of Bob Hope and Billy Crystal might disagree, but it surely’s arguably for one of the best if the Oscars are sans host for the foreseeable future. Award presenters can present bits of levity over the course of the night, and the first focus stays the place it ought to: on the films nominated.