The mystery of who will host the Oscars is solved! Jimmy Kimmel has been tapped to host the 89th Oscars on Feb. 26., it was announced today.
The Hollywood Reporter, who first broke the news, says:
The comedian will host the 89th Oscars show, to be broadcast live by ABC on Feb. 26, sources said. His selection is expected to be announced by producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, who came aboard to produce the high-profile event just last month. It will be the first time hosting the Oscars, the granddaddy of all awards show, for Kimmel, who’s been the face of ABC’s late night telecast since his ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ launched in 2003.
A December announcement is unusual for the Oscars, as the host is usually announced much earlier. The Golden Globes, which airs over a month before the Oscars, announced its host back in August.
The last time a host was announced in December was eight years ago when Hugh Jackman was announced Dec. 12. According to THR’s awards analyst, Scott Feinberg, the unusual move could be due to the recent deal between ABC and the Academy. He explains it this way:
ABC and the Academy have always engaged in a bit of a wrestling match: the network pays a fortune for the right to air the Oscars, and the Academy fights for and retains final sign-off on the host selection. However, back in August, with the Academy’s bargaining position looking awfully weak following a string of poorly rated shows and at a time when the organization still is trying to pay for its under-construction Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the parties extended a deal, that was set to expire in 2020, all the way through 2028.
Although Kimmel has never hosted the Oscars, he did host the Emmys this year and back in 2012. His Emmy gig this year earned mostly rave reviews.
The Oscars hosting gig is one of TV’s most difficult, and Kimmel has his work cut out for him. This year’s ceremony brought in 34.3 million viewers, considered an 11-year low for the broadcast. ABC is hoping to correct that lull this year.
The Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Feb. 26. Stay tuned for more updates on the show.
Tell us: Do you think Jimmy Kimmel is the right man for the job? Let us know your thoughts on that – as well as who you want to see present at the show – in the comments below!