EXCLUSIVE: We are in uncharted territory — it’s December, and the Academy is yet to name a host for the 2019 Academy Awards on ABC, which will take place in just over two months on February 24.
I hear comedian Kevin Hart is being considered for the job and could take over emcee duties. UPDATE 5:15 PM: In an Instagram post, Hart confirmed that he will be hosting the 2019 Oscars, calling it “the opportunity of a lifetime.
The popular comedian had been open about his desire for the gig. Asked on the red carpet at the 2016 Oscars whether hosting the Academy Awards was on his bucket list, Hart said, “Of course it is, but it will happen when it’s supposed to.”
At the same ceremony, hosted by Chris Rock, Hart showed a different side with an improvised speech supporting Hollywood diversity while presenting, which was one of the highlights of the ceremony.
Hart is coming off another successful feature comedy with Night School. He has starred in several hit franchises, including Ride Along and Jumanji.
The Academy earlier this fall named Donna Gigliotti as producer, and live TV and awards show veteran director Glenn Weiss, as “co-producer.” Looking to shake up things and snap the marquee awards show’s ratings slide, Academy president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson and the new producing team have pledge to bring the show in at three hours and no more, as well as presenting some categories in a radically different way than in the past.
The past two years, the Oscars was hosted by ABC’s late-night star Jimmy Kimmel, who had said he would not go for a three-peat as hosting the Academy Awards is a demanding job that takes a lot of time and energy. For that reason, because of Hart’s busy schedule, logistics have to be worked out for the actor-comedian to be able to check the Oscars off his bucket list.