Jimmy Kimmel is back as host of the 95th Oscars in 2023, marking the late-night star’s third time fronting the ceremony — which he last did five years ago. Kimmel’s return was announced Monday by Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, the executive producers and showrunners behind the Academy Awards.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host previously led the 2017 and 2018 telecasts, the former of which produced the famous “La La Land” and “Moonlight” best picture screw-up. Kimmel will now sit alongside other three-peaters Jerry Lewis, Steve Martin, Conrad Nagel and David Niven. The only people to host more times are Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Lemmon (4), Johnny Carson (5), Billy Crystal (9) and Bob Hope (11).
“Being invited to host the Oscars for a third time is either a great honor or a trap,” Kimmel said in a statement. “Either way, I am grateful to the Academy for asking me so quickly after everyone good said no.”
Kimmel’s Oscars return comes as the host recently extended his deal to continue at ABC for at least three more years, through the 23rd season of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” His pact with the network was previously set to expire in the next year.
“We’re super thrilled to have Jimmy score his hat trick on this global stage,” Weiss and Kirshner said in a joint statement. “We know he will be funny and ready for anything.”
There’s no official word on who might have also been approached for the Oscars gig, but unconfirmed rumors had circulated that the producers asked Chris Rock, a previous host who was slapped during last year’s telecast by eventual best actor winner Will Smith.
Trying to recapture its glory days of 50 million viewers, the Oscars is hoping that choosing a familiar face like Kimmel, who has earned solid marks for his stints hosting the Oscars and the Emmys, is the safest route to go.
“Jimmy is the perfect host to help us recognize the incredible artists and films of our 95th Oscars,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy president Janet Yang said in a statement. “His love of movies, live TV expertise, and ability to connect with our global audiences will create an unforgettable experience for our millions of viewers worldwide.”
Among major awards shows, Kimmel most recently hosted the 2020 Primetime Emmys, memorable for its unusual pandemic-era ceremony held in a mostly empty Staples Center.
Added Craig Erwich, president, ABC Entertainment, Hulu & Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals: “Having Jimmy Kimmel return to host ‘The Oscars’ is a dream come true. As we see every night on his own show, Jimmy can handle anything with both heart and humor, and we know that he will deliver the laughs and celebratory moments that define the Oscars.”
Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall hosted the 2022 Oscars, which averaged 16.6 million viewers — a rebound from the previous year’s record low, but still one of the lowest-rated Academy Awards ever. Kimmel’s previous Oscars, in 2018, averaged 26.5 million viewers.
With the Academy having the opportunity to have one of its most consumer-friendly slate of nominees in its history such as “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” and a potential A-list slate of original song contenders like Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Taylor Swift, the Oscars are hoping to see a big boost in ratings.
Members will vote for this year’s slate of films from Jan. 12-17, with the official nominations announcing on Jan. 24. The 95th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.
2023 Academy Awards Predictions
BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT
From Variety US