Will Oscars Go Hostless Again? 'We Will Not Mess with That Format,' Says ABC Boss

The Oscars won’t be messing with a surprising winning formula.

After a much-talked about hostless ceremony earlier this year, the Academy Awards might once again go without an emcee. ABC Entertainment head Karey Burke made the comment during the network’s upfront presentation on Monday.

“I believe we will not mess with that format to the best of our ability,” Burke told press, according to Variety.

As the outlet noted, ratings for this year’s show were up from 2018 by approximately 12% in total viewers.

Burke, however, didn’t rule out Jimmy Kimmel coming back as host after celebrated turns in 2017 and 2018. The talk show host recently signed a three-year extension on his contract for Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The 2020 Oscars are set to air earlier in the year on Feb. 9, almost a month earlier than this year’s show.

But going without a host wasn’t the Academy’s first choice. Comedian Kevin Hart had originally signed on to head the show for the first time before stepping down following an intense backlash over his past homophobic tweets and standup jokes.

Following the controversy, Hart issued numerous apologies and gave a lengthy interview to Ellen DeGeneres, who personally called the Academy to advocate for him. But the scrutiny did not immediately let up.

Speaking with PEOPLE in Atlanta ahead of the Super Bowl, however, Hart said he’s focused on positivity.

“Negativity only wins if you allow it to get to you, so positivity forever will win,” he said.

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