The 92nd Academy Awards may look a lot like the 91st Academy Awards, if ABC has its way.
“We’re extremely proud of how the show turned out creatively” ABC Entertainment boss Karey Burke circumspectly said today of this year’s hostless Oscars.
Pressed on the issue of having past host Jimmy Kimmel return to front Hollywood’s big night or not, the executive proclaimed: “I’m not saying no to anything.”
However, with declarations of the “double-digit” ratings rise of the February 24, 2019 show and an overall ethos of stability, it was clear between the lines where Burke will be leaning in her advice to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the February 9, 2020 shindig.
“We’re not messing with that format, to the best of our abilities,” the ABC Entertainment president asserted of AMPAS controlled ceremony that the network has a very big bucks deal to broadcast until 2028.
Following the jettisoning of Kevin Hart as host of the 91st Oscars, the Academy and producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss broke with tradition to go without host or hosts and have grouping of stars introduce the categories instead. The result saw the slightly more streamlined event snare a 12% uptick in viewers and 13% in the key demo over the 2018 Kimmel fronted show. The 90th Academy Awards were an all-time low in total audience.
A series of such lows over the past decade had put ABC and AMPAS on an increasing collusion course with the net nervous about advertisers and the Academy’s apparent blindspot about issues such as the length of the live broadcast. This year’s ratings rise and tighter three-hour run has put the relationship on a much better footing for the parties – despite stumbles like the potential addition of a Most Popular Film category and cutting certain less star wattage categories from the live show. Both proposals proved DOA and were soon abandoned
Of course, if the Oscars have a host or two hosts or no host next year is ultimately up to AMPAS, who are only obliged to take advice from ABC not follow orders.
Acknowledging that and stating that next year’s earlier than usual Oscars are still a way off in a long process, Burke also said that the form of the big screen jamboree should follow the tone of the films that are nominated. “That starts to lead to the creative of what kind of programming the Academy wants to put on with us,” the former head of original programming for Freeform noted.
The 92d Academy Awards take place on February 9, 2020 at the Dolby Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. Producers for the show have not been announced yet.
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