Three times is officially a trend. After the 2019 Oscars went hostless and the Emmys followed suit, the 2020 Oscars have decided the model was successful enough for a repeat. With only a few weeks to go before the Oscars ceremony and still no host announced, ABC confirmed that's because there won't be one. But fans shouldn't be upset to learn the 2020 Oscars won't have a host. It seems like it's the best decision for everyone.
The 2019 Oscars not having a host was something of a fluke. After struggling to get anyone to say yes, the Academy selected comedian Kevin Hart. But after an outcry over several of his homophobic tweets caused him to step down, and even a media blitz to reinstate him by Ellen failed, the Oscars decided to wing it.
Despite bad memories of the last hostless Oscars in 1989, the 2019 Oscars went rather well. There was a musical number to open the show, A-list actors and comedians each took a turn at the mic as presenters, no one wore out their welcome. Most importantly, having no host was a timesaver, a boon for a ceremony that notoriously runs over, sometimes ending after midnight.
In retrospect, it seemed the Oscars had little to lose in getting rid of the hosting job, and much to gain, as long as the presenters did well. (And if they don't, they're done in a few minutes.) So this year, the Academy and ABC are doing it again.
At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, ABC President Karey Burke announced the decision to go hostless was on.
Together with the Academy, we have decided 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. Voting just closed last night, and nominations will be announced on Monday.
The Oscars will also air much earlier this year than in previous ones, on Feb 9. Last year, the ceremony was held on Feb. 24.
The end of February/beginning of March had been the traditional slot for the Oscars since 2004. That was after a move from the end of March which was when the ceremony had been held since the 1940s. The idea then was to move the date up in order to curtail the long Oscar campaigns by studios. The hope now is to cut those campaigns off completely by having such a short space between the nominations on Jan. 13 and the ceremony less than a month later.
The 92nd Academy Awards will air on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET.