This year’s Academy Awards ceremony made history as for the first time since 1989 the televised awards show went without the traditional host. And it may do so again next year.
Katey Burke, president of ABC, the network which televises the Oscar ceremony, indicated that they might not want to mess with what appears to be a winning formula.
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.
What I’m learning about the Oscars process is a lot of it — it really does shape throughout the course of the year based on what movies the audience is finding, and that starts to lead the creative and the thinking about what kind of telecast the Academy wants to put on in partnership with us. So they really are conversations that continue to evolve over the course of the year, but right now we’re unbelievably happy with the results from this year and so I think you’ll see, hopefully, we’ll have that same kind of success and that same kind of push with the show this year.
This year’s Academy Awards ceremony went without an MC after a kerfuffle with chosen host comedian Kevin Hart and some old in appropriate tweets led to his dismissal from the job and no one else wanting to step into the role.
In the face of slowly declining ratings over the past several years, this year’s Academy Awards brought in 29.6 million viewers, a twelve percent increase over 2018’s viewership.
It seems though that what ABC is not taking into account is that the uptick in ratings wasn’t because the hostless formula worked for the show so much as it could have been driven by curiosity to see if it would work or not. As we noted on The Big Picture Podcast following this year’s Oscar ceremony, the entire show felt formless and lacked a sense of pacing and fun. Overall, though, the hostless format received more mixed to positive reviews.
As for now though, no official decision will be forthcoming about the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony until at least after a new Academy president is elected. That is expected to happen later this summer.