LOS ANGELES (AP) - Despite his jokes that he’ll never get asked back after the historic envelope flub at this year’s Academy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the Oscars once more. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday said Kimmel will return for the 90th Oscars with producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, the team behind this year’s ceremony.
“If you think we screwed up the ending this year, wait until you see what we have planned for the 90th anniversary show!” Kimmel said in the official announcement.
It’s an extremely early date to set the host for the 2018 ceremony - Kimmel was not announced as the host of the 2017 Oscars until December 2016, and the previous year’s host, Chris Rock, was announced the prior November - but film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told the Associated Press Tuesday that they were so pleased with the team that they wanted to “keep the momentum going” for the 90th.
“It’s a big year for us,” Boone Isaacs said. “It’s going to be a big celebration, and it’s wonderful to have a team that’s experienced, and freshly experienced, and already has some wonderful ideas.”
Ratings for the 89th Oscars this past February were the lowest since 2008 with 32.9 million viewers tuning in, however, even with the drama of the envelope gaffe in which Faye Dunaway, reading an incorrect card, announced “La La Land” as the Best Picture winner. The snafu was corrected on stage, and “Moonlight” was given the award.
Boone Isaacs acknowledged that dip in ratings is “a little troubling,” but she doesn’t blame the team for the numbers.
“This show was extremely well-reviewed, and we got so much positive feedback from the general public, as well as our members and certainly the board who are very excited about what they delivered for us,” she said.
Boone Isaccs expects the movies to help bolster interest this year.
Interest may be up, too, in the aftermath of the envelope situation, which resulted in heightened press coverage after the show as well as immediate changes internally to ensure that it would never happen again. The changes, however, aren’t likely to affect the producers or the host.
“That was more about (accounting firm) PwC and not the producers or the host, and we have addressed that issue. That envelope is closed,” Boone Isaacs said. “That was a very specific situation that was addressed right away, and now we’ll just move on.”
New protocols for PwC, which took responsibility for the mistake, were implemented following the ceremony, including a ban on cellphones backstage for accountants, employing a third balloting partner for the telecast and bringing in PwC’s U.S. chairman to provide oversight.
Kimmel, who balanced political jabs with lighthearted humor at this year’s ceremony, also recently garnered attention for comments he made on his late night show that all Americans deserve the same level of health care given his infant son, who was born with a heart defect that required surgery to repair. He has criticized GOP lawmakers for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and he mocked critics who called him elitist for his health care comments.
The 90th Oscars will be held on March 4, 2018, in Los Angeles and broadcast live on ABC.
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