Jimmy Kimmel will host the 89th Academy Awards ceremony, theWrap has confirmed.
The late-night comedian and talk show host has never before hosted the Oscars, but he has long been the preferred choice of ABC, the network that televises the Oscars and also airs Kimmel’s nightly talk show.
He received positive reviews for his recent job hosting the Emmy Awards — although that gig could also have hurt his chances to do the Oscar show, since the Academy typically doesn’t like to use hosts who have recently done other awards shows.
Kimmel’s lack of film experience is also seen as a drawback, as nearly all Oscar hosts have had some kind of big-screen presence since David Letterman’s ill-fated year at the helm in 1995 and Johnny Carson’s well-received ones in the 1980s.
But ABC has been pushing for more control over the show as ratings for all awards shows have declined in recent years, and the choice of Kimmel — a more-than-capable host, even if he isn’t cut from the usual Oscar mold — is a sign that the network is a major creative partner in the telecast.
The network and the Academy recently extended their deal for ABC to televise the Oscars through 2018, with the network paying AMPAS about $75 million per year to do so.
December 5 is the latest an Oscar host has been announced since 2008, when Hugh Jackman was announced as host of the 81st Academy Awards on December 12.
The 89th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.