Jimmy Kimmel to return as Oscars host

Jimmy Kimmel will return to helm the 2018 Academy Awards after the late night host artfully handled the biggest blunder in Oscars history this year.
Jimmy Kimmel set to host 2018 Oscars.VIDEO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (NYTimes) - For the first time since the 1990s, the Academy Awards telecast will have the same host for two years in a row: Jimmy Kimmel said on Tuesday (May 16) that he would return as emcee.

"If you think we screwed up the ending this year, wait until you see what we have planned for the 90th anniversary show!" he said in a statement, a reference to the bungled Best-Picture announcement at the culmination of the most recent ceremony. (Moonlight won, but an envelope mix-up first led to the accidental coronation of La La Land.)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also said that the producers of the last telecast, Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, would return.

"Our Oscars team this year delivered a show that hit every high note," Dawn Hudson, the academy's chief executive, said in a statement.

Not every one: The ceremony, held on Feb 26 and broadcast on ABC, attracted roughly 32.9 million viewers, a 4 percent decline from the previous year, according to Nielsen data. It was the smallest Oscars audience since 2008.

The academy typically selects producers in autumn, with a host named after that - almost always following a mad scramble to find someone both willing to do it and whom the unwieldy academy can agree on. Nailing down the host and production team this early gives the academy a running start. The next ceremony will be held on March 4.

While the academy has recently hired the same producers in consecutive years, the job of host has gone to a different entertainer every year since 1997 and 1998, when Billy Crystal hosted back-to-back ceremonies.