Comedian Jimmy Kimmel will return as host of the Oscars, marking the second time in a row and fourth overall that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected him to lead the award show.
“I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” Kimmel said in a statement on Wednesday. HuffPost reached out to Kimmel’s team for additional comment but did not receive an immediate response.
The 96th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC and other outlets on March 10 from Los Angeles. Kimmel, the host and executive producer of the late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” will be returning as host with his wife, Molly McNearney, as executive producer for the second consecutive year.
“We are thrilled about Jimmy returning to host and Molly returning as executive producer for the Oscars,” academy CEO Bill Kramer and academy President Janet Yang said in a statement. “They share our love of movies and our commitment to producing a dynamic and entertaining show for our global audience.”
Kimmel, who was lauded by the show’s executive producers as “one of the all-time great Oscars hosts,” first led the Academy Awards show in 2017 and took the role again in 2018. From 2019 to 2021, the Oscars gala was hindered by the coronavirus pandemic and did not have a host, with the 2021 presentation drawing the lowest viewership in the show’s history at 10.4 million, Deadline reported.
But viewership spiked this year when the academy brought Kimmel back to host the show, with nearly 19 million views in 2023, a significant increase from the 16.6 million in 2022, according to The New York Times.
“After his triumphant return to the Oscars stage last year, we are honored to have Jimmy back to guide us through one of the most beloved celebrations in entertainment,” Craig Erwich, president of ABC Entertainment, Hulu and Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals, said in a statement.