ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke shared the news at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour on Wednesday that the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony that airs on February 9 will wing it again after successfully putting on a well-reviewed show minus a host in 2019.
Instead of a stream of onstage jokey patter, many of the highlights last year were musical, including Adam Lambert and Queen kicking off the night in honor of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper conjuring their onscreen chemistry as they sang the film’s Oscar-winning song “Shallow” at a piano in one uncut take.
Plus, there were plenty of moments of humor to savor, thanks to the likes of funny ladies Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph presenting together or Keegan Michael-Key swooping down on the stage Mary Poppins-style to introduce the nominated song from the sequel to the 1964 original.
As a result, the 2019 ceremony, which saw “Green Book” win Best Picture, averaged almost 30 million viewers, an increase of 11.5 percent year-over-year and a 7.7 rating among the key demo of adults 18-49, up 12 percent from a year ago. That’s a great recovery after the 2018 broadcast hit an all-time low of 26.54 million and a 6.8 in the demo.
Last year, Burke said the goal was to keep the show from going too far past the three-hour mark. Plus, she praised the producers who decided to use the A-list talent at hand introduced each category and let the movies themselves “be the stars.” Kevin Hart was originally announced to be the host of the evening but some old homophobic tweets surfaced soon after and suddenly a no-host show seemed like a good idea.
There was a risk, considering the off-key campy mess that occurred in 1989 when producer Allan Carr decided to eschew an emcee. Instead, he opened the show with Rob Lowe alongside a screechy Snow White as they warbled “Proud Mary”with Lily Tomlin doing a cameo appearance in the guise of Cinderella. The only leftover from that year that has continued? Replacing “And the winner is …” with the phrase, “And the Oscar goes …” when the trophies are presented onstage.
What do you think of this repeat of the Academy Awards going hostless this year? And, if you prefer a host, who would you suggest to attract eyeballs and provide the snappy quips. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and take our poll.
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