There has been quite the buzz surrounding this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

In December, Kevin Hart stepped down as host following backlash for some insensitive jokes he made during a stand up special a few years ago. In the weeks since, the Academy struggled to find someone to replace the comic (and who can blame anyone for not wanting the gig now?).

Finally, after two months of speculation, Karey Burke, who was named president of ABC Entertainment only in November, officially announced that the 91st Academy Awards will go on without a host.

During her sit-down with the Television Critics Association, Burke was asked if the lack of a host made her nervous, to which she replied:

“It no longer does. Ironically, I have found that the lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept them in the conversation. The mystery is really compelling. People really care.”

While the ABC president did not offer up much in the way of what the show will exactly consist of, she did say that not having a host will help the producers of the ceremony achieve their goal coming out of 2018– to keep the show short; more specifically, Burke clarified the plans are to keep the show to a “brisk” three hours.

You might recall that last year’s Oscars ran for a slogging three hours and 53 minutes and consequently the broadcast hit an all-time low viewership. Burke is confident this year will be different:

“I think we’re going to see a big turnout for this. At no time in history have we had three best pictures nominees that grossed over $200 million at the box office.”

The president also attributed the predicted success on this year’s Best Original Song performances:

“I think people are wildly excited about the best song nominees. We have a phenomenal music show on its own.”

This marks the first time in 30 years that the Oscars will not have an official host. The last time this happened was back in 1989.

What do you think about the Oscars not having a host? Does this get you any more on board with watching the show? And are you enticed to tune in thanks to this year’s best picture and best original song nominees? I would love to hear from you, so share your thoughts in the comments below!


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