ABC will air the 95th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday March 12, and Craig Erwich promises that the Disney-owned network will make the telecast “even better” than this year.
Erwich, who is President of Entertainment at ABC, told Deadline that despite the Will Smith slap on Chris Rock, he thought it was a “really successful year for the show.”
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He was also open to the idea of Rock hosting the show.
“My assessment of the Oscars was that it was really a successful year for the show. Obviously there was a lot of controversy, which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program,” he said. “Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started off up year over year, and we came back in a big way.”
The show, which was hosted by Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, was up nearly 60% in audience and 73% in the key demo from the hostless 2021 Oscars, capturing 16.6M viewers.
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“It was the biggest bounce back of any award show this season. If you look at what they were trying to do, which is really bring entertainment back to the program, they had three amazing hosts, clips, and incredible musical performances, I thought it was a great way for the show to reclaim its place on the mantle. There’s always things to learn and we’ll endeavor to do even better next year.”
CODA was the big winner of the 2022 event, winning Best Picture and become the first film distributed by a streamer to win the main award. Obviously, this was overshadowed by the fact that Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock for a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The show will air live from the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood with nominations announced on January 24, 2023.
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