Perhaps hoping for a return to a more demure celebration of the film industry after last year’s much-discussed evening, executive producers Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner have tapped Emmy winner and two-time Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel to host the 95th Academy Awards.
Kimmel is returning after back-to-back hosting duties in 2017 and 2018, where “Moonlight” and “The Shape of Water” emerged as the Best Picture winners of those respective years. Additionally, Kimmel’s wife, the Emmy-nominated writer Molly McNearney, is also coming aboard as an executive producer for the telecast.
Kimmel’s previous shows drew audiences of 33 million and 27 million, significantly better than the last couple of years but less than the shows immediately before and after his. His selection means that the Academy and ABC are not holding out for the rare kind of host who might boost the ratings, but are going with a steady hand who has done the job before and is already part of ABC as the host of the network’s premiere late-night program.
Kimmel’s first time hosting the show in 2017 included the chaotic ending when a PwC accountant gave Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope, and “La La Land” was initially and incorrectly announced as the Best Picture winner instead of “Moonlight.”
“We’re super thrilled to have Jimmy score his hat trick on this global stage. We know he will be funny and ready for anything!” Weiss and Kirshner said in a statement. (Weiss was the director for both of Kimmel’s previous turns as host.)
In his trademark comic style, Kimmel also published a statement on agreeing to return to wrangle Hollywood’s biggest night. “Being invited to host the Oscars for a third time is either a great honor or a trap,” he said. “Either way, I am grateful to the Academy for asking me so quickly after everyone good said no.”
Chris Rock, who was famously slapped onstage by Will Smith during last year’s show after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, said during a comedy show in August that he had been asked to host but had turned down the gig.
The 95th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC.
Steve Pond contributed to this report.