UPDATED with details: Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the 96th Academy Awards, ABC has confirmed, marking the fourth time and second straight year that the Jimmy Kimmel Live! mainstay has taken the gig. The ceremony is March 10 on the Disney-owned network.
“I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” Kimmel joked in a statement.
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Along with emceeing Hollywood’s Biggest Night this past March, he also hosted in 2017 and 2018. After the latter show drew then-record low ratings, the broadcast went hostless in 2019, 2020, and 2021, when the Oscars were heavily pandemic-affected and stripped down, drawing the lowest ratings ever.
Kimmel is a double Emmy winner and 20-time nominee, including noms for all three of his previous Academy Award gigs. He also is the answer to a unique Oscar trivia question: He presided over the infamous “envelope-gate” show in 2017, when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope and announced La La Land as the Best Picture winner, only to embarrassingly be corrected when one of that film’s producers grabbed the correct envelope to reveal there had been a mistake and Moonlight was the actual winner. It was pure mayhem and Kimmel was right there on stage in the middle of it all. He was back the next year, however, as were Beatty and Dunaway to present Best Picture again.
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“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,” said Craig Erwich, president of ABC Entertainment, Hulu and Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals. “He is such a valuable member of our Disney family, and we could not be more appreciative of him and his entire team.”
ABC also said today that Jimmy Kimmel Live! executive producer and co-head writer Molly McNearey will serve as an executive producer of the Oscars alongside Raj Kapoor and Katy Mullan. Hamish Hamilton will direct.
“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. “They share our love of movies and our commitment to producing a dynamic and entertaining show for our global audience. We are deeply grateful to Jimmy, Molly and their teams for their incredible creativity and partnership and for going on this ride with us again.”
Added McNearney, “I’m especially honored to be part of the Oscars team this year, when we are all eager to be back together and back at work.”
Kapoor and Mullan said in a statement: “Jimmy has cemented himself as one of the all-time great Oscars hosts with his perfect blend of humanity and humor, and Molly is one of the best live TV producers around. We are delighted to be working with them and their teams on the show.”
Kimmel and his fellow late-night hosts were sidelined during the WGA strike, but his ABC show led the way in viewership when the shows returned last month. Jimmy Kimmel Live! posted its highest-rated season opener in six years upon its October 2 return. He has fronted the late-night talker since its 2003 launch.
The Academy Awards again will be handed out at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
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