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The Oscars has no host for the first time in 30 years but is promising 'phenomenal' presenters

TV network ABC says the hostless show could be a good thing.

The Oscars will be broadcast on 24 February.
The Oscars will be broadcast on 24 February.
Image: Danny Moloshok/PA Images

THE PRESIDENT OF Oscars broadcaster ABC has claimed the disarray over the lack of a host could prove to be positive for the awards show.

“Ironically, I have found that the lack of clarity … has kept the Oscars really in the conversation, and the mystery has been really compelling,” said Karey Burke, whose network is the ceremony’s longtime home.

She called the interest proof that the Oscars are still relevant.

Burke’s worries about the host-less 24 February ceremony have vanished as it comes together with a “phenomenal” line-up of presenters, she told a TV critics meeting.

Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Evans and Constance Wu are among them.

The ceremony also has box-office hits — best-picture contenders Black Panther, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born — with fans that could boost TV viewership.

Last year’s show drew a record-low 26.5 million people, a 20%drop from the 2017 show and the first time Oscar viewership dipped below 30 million, according to Nielsen records that go back to 1974.

The best-picture winner, The Shape of Water, only grossed $57.4 million in the U.S.

Burke also lauded the movie academy’s pledge to keep the ceremony to three hours, avoiding the overtime that can drain off viewers.

The host-less Oscars was a decision that everyone involved got on board with fairly quickly after Kevin Hart withdrew in December, Burke said, who’s been in the top ABC entertainment job just two months.

Hart dropped out amid criticism over years-old homophobic tweets, for which he eventually apologised.

This year will be the first time in 30 years that the Oscars doesn’t have a host. 

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Associated Press

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