Great news for people who like awards shows: It looks like next year's Oscars will remain a hostless affair.
Speaking to reporters as part of its Upfronts conference call on Tuesday, Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, said there were no plans to change the format of the Academy Awards broadcast in 2020.
"You will not see us messing with that format to the best to our abilities," Burke said. She added that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was "unbelievably happy" with the 2019 telecast, which saw ratings rise roughly 12 percent from the year prior when ABC late-night stalwart Jimmy Kimmel hosted. "Hopefully we will have that same kind of success when we approach [the 2020 Oscars]," Burke said.
While select winners at the 2019 Oscars were up there with some of the worst academy choices in recent memory — Green Book shockingly won best picture, while Rami Malek was awarded best actor for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody -- the broadcast itself was a light, fun affair that leaned on presenters and moments rather than a single host. The show opened with a performance from Adam Lambert and Queen and an appearance by Wine Country stars Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph. Later standout moments included presenter pairings such as John Mulaney and Awkwafina and Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson, and a performance of Oscar-winning original song "Shallow" from A Star Is Born. Perhaps this rings some bells:
So, the show ruled! And it happened because ABC and the academy made the mistake of first hiring Kevin Hart to host — a decision that backfired almost immediately after homophobic tweets from Hart's past were resurfaced. Hart eventually quit as host and while he engaged in a brief flirtation with potentially returning (thanks to Ellen DeGeneres), no deal was ever struck to bring him back to emcee.
Unfortunately for Burke and ABC, a repeat of that "Shallow" performance is unlikely in 2020; but on the positive side, Green Book can't win best picture again either! Bring on a hostless Oscars!
Here's a full look at the 2019 ABC fall television lineup.