After some measure of controversy, the 2019 Oscars went on without a host, and surprisingly it was a big success. Now it looks like the hostless trend will continue.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the head of ABC Karey Burke talked about the Oscars, including the success of the broadcast, which saw its ratings go up significantly over the previous year.
“Three movies up for best picture made over $200 million,” she said of the main reason for the ratings uptick. “They deserve a lot of the credit. And so many people tuned in to see Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sing. Every time that clip is watched, it’s got the ABC bug in the corner. I love that. It’s going to be in every promo reel I do. People tuned in expecting to see a trainwreck and got a good show instead.”
As for the hosting situation for the 2020 Oscars, Burke sees no reason not to try going host-free once again.
“We’re having those conversations with the Academy right now,” she said. “We are extremely happy with how the show went. Odds are you’ll see us repeating what we consider to be a successful formula.”
Burke also addressed the controversy surrounding originally planned 2019 Oscars host Kevin Hart, who stepped down after old homophobic tweets were resurfaced.
“It was unnerving. Never before have I had the illusion of so much responsibility and yet felt quite powerless,” she recalled. “If the Oscars can serve as a harbinger to how we approach things in my tenure here at ABC, I will be very happy. Expectations might be low but everybody here made bold choices, did risky things, had each other’s backs and pulled it off.”