Oscars: Jimmy Kimmel to Host the 2023 Show

Oscars: Jimmy Kimmel to Host the 2023 Show

Jimmy Kimmel will be returning to the Oscar stage.

The ABC late night host has signed on to host the 95th Oscars, marking his third time in the role.

The announcement follows the Sept. 17 reveal that award show veterans Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner will be producing the ceremony. Their hiring signals the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ commitment to having producers with “live television expertise” back at its helm. This was one of many goals that Bill Kramer, the Academy’s newly appointed CEO, shared with journalists . (The 2021 and 2022 telecasts were produced by film director Steven Soderbergh and film producer Will Packer, respectively.) Molly McNearney is Kimmel’s wife, and Jimmy Kimmel live! co-head writer and longtime executive producer, will executive produce the 95th Oscars as well.

“We’re thrilled to have Jimmy score his third hat trick on the global stage,” stated Weiss and Kirshner jointly in a statement.

The big show is set to take place March 12, 2023, and will face considerable ratings pressure. The last go-round, which was hosted by the trio of Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, drew nearly 17 million viewers, which was up considerably from the year prior, a scaled-down, hostless telecast, but still trailed past years by a wide margin. It was actually the second-lowest-rated Oscars broadcast ever. This was not lost on ABC or the Academy. Of course, the 2022 show will be largely remembered for both its controversial decision to prerecord and air an edited-down presentation of eight awards and for Will Smith famously slapping Chris Rock — just as Kimmel’s first foray as host is often remembered for “Envelope-gate,” when La La Land was announced as the best picture Oscar winner before it became apparent Moonlight had actually won.

In September, Kramer and Janet Yang, the Academy’s newly elected president, hosted an all-member meeting where past and present telecasts were discussed. “From our recent member survey, we learned from our Academy members that they did not love the 94th Oscars,” Kramer acknowledged to members, prompting laughter. “It had a 20 percent positivity rating from Academy members, compared to 61 percent for the 92nd; only 2 percent liked the Fan Favorite; only 17 percent approved of the prerecorded awards; and fewer Academy members are watching the full show — 67 percent for the 92nd, 59 percent for the 94th.” He vowed to address their concerns, noting that the Academy, in its discussions with ABC, was committed to “honoring all crafts and disciplines on air” during the Oscars telecast, garnering big applause in the room.

“Jimmy is the perfect host to help us recognize the incredible artists and films of our 95th Oscars. In a joint statement, Kramer and Yang noted that Yang’s love of movies, his live TV expertise and his ability to connect with millions of viewers around the world will make for an unforgettable experience. “With Kimmel, Weiss and Kirshner’s fresh perspective and masterful guidance, the Oscars will celebrate its rich 95-year history, the collaborative nature of moviemaking and our diverse, dynamic and deeply creative community of filmmakers.”

The news of Kimmel’s appointment comes a month and a half after ABC announced that the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host had inked a new three-year extension, which will take the show through its 23rd season. Kimmel has been a valuable asset to ABC and parent Disney over his long tenure. He’s hosted the Oscars twice and has emceed multiple Emmys. He also appears annually at the company’s upfront presentation, where his trademark sarcasm is directed at the network and its competitors. He has also produced and starred in additional shows for the network, including Live In Front of a Studio Audience with Norman Lear.

“It’s a dream come true to have Jimmy Kimmel host the Oscars,” said Craig Erwich. We know Jimmy is a comedian and can handle any situation with humor and heart. As we have seen every night, we know that he will deliver the laughs, celebratory moments and memorable moments that make the Oscars special,” said Craig Erwich of ABC Entertainment, Hulu & Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals. “We love being the home for Hollywood’s biggest night, and can’t wait until we toast the success of this years cinema and storytelling.”

In the past, Kimmel has called hosting the Oscars a “highlight of [his] career.” Making the announcement in early November — as opposed to mid-February, which is when the 2022 hosts were revealed — ensures that he and his producers will have plenty of time to prepare. On the August call with journalists Kramer acknowledged that the Academy would benefit from having its telecast producers and hosts hired earlier than in years past and locking them up for multi-year commitments so that no one has to learn the jobs each year. It is not clear if Weiss, Kirshner, or Kimmel have signed up for more than one-year.

Kimmel joked that “being invited to host Oscars for the third time is either great honor or a trap.” “Either way, I am grateful to the Academy for asking me so quickly after everyone good said no.”

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