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Oscars to go host-less for 2nd year in a row

2017 Oscars nominations announced
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-01 14:42:48-05

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - For the second year in a row, next month's Oscar ceremony will be held without a host, the president of ABC Entertainment said Wednesday.

"Together with the Academy, we've decided that there will be no traditional host again this year, repeating what worked for us last year -- huge entertainment value, big musical numbers, big comedy and star power," Karey Burke told reporters at the Television Critics Association meeting in Pasadena.

Nominations for the Feb. 9 Oscars will be announced Monday.

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ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are looking to capitalize on a formula that led to an uptick in ratings last year, when the show went host-less following comedian Kevin Hart's decision to drop out of the gig. Hart quit just two days after being named host when some previous homophobic Twitter posts and comments resurfaced.

Instead, last year's show opened with a performance by classic rock band Queen -- thanks to last year's biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," which won a best-actor prize for Rami Malek for his role as the band's late frontman, Freddie Mercury.

Following the performance, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph took the stage for a short comedy bit. Overall, the often-long-running ceremony was held to about three hours, and ratings increased by about 12% over the previous year.

Looking ahead to this year's show, Burke said "a lot of incredible elements have already come together that have convinced us that we're going to have an incredibly entertaining show again."

"Our goal is to present the most entertaining show possible," she said. "And the producers have already put together a plan for what is proving to be a really entertaining telecast."