It’s becoming a tradition: the Oscars is once again going hostless for its 2020 ceremony.
As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, the announcement came Wednesday from ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “Let me confirm it now, together with the Academy, that there will be no traditional host this year,” Burke said.
The decision to ditch the emcee doesn’t come as a shock. ABC did the same thing last year following Kevin Hart’s controversial departure. The network ultimately saw a successful 11.5 percent uptick in viewership, leading executives to opt for a similar approach for 2020. Burke told The Hollywood Reporter after last year’s ratings boost, “We are extremely happy with how the show went. Odds are you’ll see us repeating what we consider to be a successful formula.”
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The 2020 hostless Oscars will air Sunday, February 9th, with nominations to be unveiled on January 13th. Speculation is already stirring, and if Sunday’s Golden Globes are any indication, top contenders include Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (which won Best Picture – Comedy, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt) and Sam Mendes’ World War I epic 1917 (which took home trophies for Best Drama and Best Director).
Of course, you can’t rule out streamers like Netflix’s The Irishman and Marriage Story. Even though the latter earned Laura Dern a Best Supporting Actress Globe and Alfonso Cuaron nabbed a Best Director Oscar for last year’s Roma, the inclusion of streaming platforms’ original content in awards contention is still somewhat controversial. Even Steven Speilberg has publicly called for the Academy to reconsider their qualification rules.
All that aside, there’s hope that going without a host may shave down the lengthy three-hour ceremony (it still went over by 23 minutes last year). Still, the only likely real way to get that done is to take note from David Lynch on the art of the brisk acceptance speech.