Ellen DeGeneres to host Oscars for second time

DeGeneres hosted show in 2007

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Ellen DeGeneres will return in March to host the 86th Academy Awards, the second time she will have done so, the show's producers announced Friday.

"We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars," producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in a statement. "As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars.

"There are few stars today who have Ellen's gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are."

DeGeneres hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007 and was nominated for an Emmy for her efforts.

"I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time," she said. "You know what they say -- the third time's the charm."

The Academy Awards ceremony will be March 2 at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center and aired live on ABC.

DeGeneres will take over hosting duties from "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, who earned mixed reviews for his sometimes-bawdy humor. Despite those reviews, the show saw a jump in ratings, including an 11 percent jump from the previous year among the hard-to-reach audience of 18- to 49-year-olds. There was also a 34 percent viewership increase among men ages 18-34.

MacFarlane said shortly after the show he enjoyed the experience, but there was "no way" he would do it again.

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