Oscars 2020: Academy Awards to go without a host for second year

The February ceremony will follow in the format of the landmark 2019 awards, organisers have confirmed

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 21, 2008 Oscar statuettes are displayed at the "Meet The Oscars" exhibit before the 80th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. The Oscars will again go without a host next month, repeating a format credited with boosting ratings last year, US network ABC confirmed on January 8, 2020. "Together with the Academy, we have decided there will be no traditional host, repeating for us what worked last year," ABC entertainment president Karey Burke told a television summit near Los Angeles, according to showbiz website Deadline Hollywood. / AFP / Gabriel BOUYS
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The 2020 Oscars ceremony in February will again have no host, the head of ABC Television Entertainment has revealed.

"Let me confirm it now. Together with the Academy [of Motion Pictures], we have decided there will be no traditional host again this year," said Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, yesterday.

The 2019 Oscars was the first in 30 years to have no host and saw the audience on broadcaster ABC rise to 29.6 million Americans, breaking a four-year trend of falling viewership for the live ceremony.

Burke said the decision not to have a host for the Sunday, February 9 event, the most prestigious awards in the movie business, was prompted by good reviews last year, when rock band Queen opened the show with a live performance to celebrate the box office success of the musical Bohemian Rhapsody.

Burke said organisers planned on "repeating what worked for us last year – huge entertainment value, big musical numbers, big comedy".

"A lot of incredible elements have already come together and convinced us that we are going to have an incredibly entertaining show again," she added, without giving details.

FILE - This May 14, 2019 file photo shows Jimmy Kimmel at the Walt Disney Television 2019 upfront in New York. Kimmel will host a prime-time edition of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” with stars as the contestants and winnings earmarked for their causes of choice. It will debut this spring on ABC. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Nominations for the 2020 Oscars will be announced on Monday, January 13.

Finding a host for big awards show has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Comedian Kevin Hart pulled out of the 2019 Oscars job after being slammed on social media for homophobic comments he had made in the past. He later apologised.

Other comedians, including Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes on Sunday, January 5, have met with criticism for being either too harsh, too political, or too soft in their jokes.

The last host of the Academy Awards was Jimmy Kimmel in 2018.