After Confusiongate, which turned this year’s Academy Awards into the next morning’s joke, you might expect the Oscars and ABC to change everything for next year, to help erase the memory. But, in an unusually early decision, ABC and the Academy have announced that Jimmy Kimmel will return to host next year’s ceremony, the Academy’s 90th, and he has accepted the job.
Do you think we can expect a few jokes about the debacle, where “La La Land” was incorrectly named best picture, instead of “Moonlight”? Oh yes indeed.
“Hosting the Oscars was a highlight of my career,” Kimmel said in a statement. “If you think we screwed up the ending this year, wait until you see what we have planned for the 90th anniversary show!” Kimmel will reunite with producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, who put together this year’s show, too.
Kimmel did a fine job in February, and he is the face of ABC’s late-night programming. Surely that’s why the network has rehired him; the ratings for this year’s Oscars — 32.9 million total viewers – were at a nine-year low. The numbers dropped 4 percent from the previous year’s broadcast, which was hosted by Chris Rock.
Recently, Kimmel delivered a monologue on his show about his newborn son’s heart problems, ending with a plea for Congress to be compassionate in their decisions about health care. It was an emotional moment that went viral and evoked a lot of sympathy. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences posted a note to him on Facebook: “Dear Jimmy Kimmel, Molly, Jane and Baby Billy: You are in our thoughts. Warmest wishes to all of you.”
The Oscars will air on Sunday, March 4, 2018.Matthew Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.