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Oscars Will Have ‘No Traditional Host Again This Year,’ ABC Boss Karey Burke Says

TCA 2020: ABC also has the Emmys this year

The Oscars will go without a host again this year, ABC entertainment president Karey Burke said Wednesday during the Television Critics Association press tour.

She said ABC and The Academy decided together there will be “no traditional host again this year.” The Oscars are scheduled for Feb. 9 this year, a few weeks earlier than usual. It will be one week after Super Bowl LIV, which airs on Fox, the most-watched annual TV event with more than 100 million viewers.

Burke hinted last May that ABC was considering going with the no-host route again. “We’re extremely proud of how the show turned out creatively and how well it performed this year, so I think you will see us not messing with that formula to the best of our abilities,” she said at the time.

Kevin Hart was at first attached to host the Oscars in 2019, but he stepped down from the job after Hart’s old tweets and comments that were considered homophobic resurfaced. The Academy then proceeded without a host, opening the broadcast with a performance by Queen and Adam Lambert.

The 2019 Oscar broadcast brought in 29.6 million viewers despite the lack of a host, a 12 percent increase from 2018 when Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the second time in two years. And reviews of the show itself were relatively positive compared to years past, with viewers largely agreeing the show moved quickly.

Burke was asked during her executive session if she believes that lightning can strike twice — previous attempts at going hostless did not turn out as well. “We expect that we’re going to have another very commercial set of nominations,” she said. “Our goal is to present the most entertaining show possible.” She added that “producers have already put together a plan” to make the show entertaining.

ABC is double-dipping in award shows this year, as its also the network’s year to air the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 20. When asked if she’s thought about who would host that award show, she responded: “Um, Baby Yoda?”