Jimmy Kimmel to host Oscars for fourth time
LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP)— Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel is returning — again — to host the Oscars for a fourth time, organisers said Wednesday.
Kimmel will preside over Hollywood’s biggest awards show for the second consecutive year, after television ratings rebounded at last year’s well-reviewed ceremony.
“I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” joked Kimmel, in a statement issued by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and broadcaster ABC.
Oscars executive producers Raj Kapoor and Katy Mullan hailed Kimmel as “one of the all-time great Oscars hosts,” praising his “perfect blend of humanity and humour.”
The 96th Oscars will be held on March 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Kimmel previously hosted the show in 2017 — a ceremony that ended with the infamous mix-up that saw “La La Land” accidentally named best picture — and 2018.
He was brought back for the 2023 edition. Kimmel was widely viewed as a safe pair of hands — much needed, as the previous year’s ceremony had featured Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage for cracking a joke about his wife.
The ceremony in March kicked off with Kimmel being lowered onto the stage as two US Navy jets flew over the theater, and at one point featured the host accompanied to the podium by a miniature emotional support donkey.
Oscars television ratings increased for the second year in a row, as 18.7 million viewers tuned in to watch hit sci-fi flick “Everything Everywhere All at Once” dominate the proceedings.
The upward trend is a welcome shot in the arm for live awards shows, which have been shedding viewers more broadly as they compete for eyeballs with streamers and social media highlight clips.
This year, Hollywood is scrambling to recover from the first dual strikes by actors and writers in 60 years, which brought the industry to a near-standstill for months.