By Joe Otterson, Variety Jan 8, 2020 at 3:33pm
Photo: Getty Images
The Oscars are once again going to go without a host.
Karey Burke, the head of ABC Entertainment, confirmed that the upcoming film awards show will have “no traditional host” during her executive session at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday. Voting for the Academy Awards concluded Tuesday night with the nominations set to be announced on Jan. 13.
“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,” Burke said when asked why the decision was made to again go hostless.
The 2019 Oscars were the first to go hostless since 1989. Kevin Hart had originally been announced as the host, but he stepped down just days after the announcement after several of his homophobic tweets were resurfaced.
Last year’s Oscars, which drew just under 30 million viewers, saw a slight rise in the ratings from 2018, but still garnered the second smallest audience ever for an Academy Awards telecast. Part of the reason viewers returned to the Oscars this past year was no doubt to see if the telecast would go off the rails, given all the controversy that surrounded Hart’s exit as host of the show.
Variety had reported in December that ABC and the Academy were debating whether or not to go hostless again. The time crunch was on at that time, as ABC had already begun airing promos for the telecast even with no host announced.