Oscars to go hostless for 2nd straight year on ABC

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FILE – In this Feb. 4, 2019 file photo, an Oscar statue appears at the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Oscars will not have a host for its annual awards show. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)

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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The Oscars are going without a host again this year.

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said Wednesday the Feb. 9 telecast will focus on what worked last year: “huge entertainment value, big musical numbers, big comedy and star power.”

Last year’s ceremony attracted 29.6 million viewers, the second-smallest in Oscars history but 12% more than in 2018, which ended a four-year slide in viewership. Comedian Kevin Hart was originally announced as host, but he backed away when some anti-gay tweets he posted a decade ago resurfaced.

ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences agreed to go hostless for a second straight year, Burke said.

“We expect that we’re going to have a very commercial set of nominations,” Burke told a TV critics meeting, “and a number of elements have come together that convinced us we’ll have a very entertaining show.”

Nominations will be announced on Monday.

Last year’s Emmy Awards also went without a host. ABC is televising this year’s ceremony on Sept. 20, and Burke was asked if she had any idea who might preside.

“Baby Yoda,” she joked, referring to the infant version of the “Star Wars” character that became an instant sensation on Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian.”

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