Emmy Award-winning talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has been announced as the master of ceremonies for the upcoming 96th Academy Awards, marking his fourth stint in this prestigious role and his second consecutive year at the helm.
The event, which is a focal point of Hollywood's award season, is set to be broadcast by ABC on March 10. Kimmel, renowned for his tenure on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", previously graced the Oscar stage as host in 2017 and 2018, and most recently, in the 95th edition held earlier this year.
His return comes after a brief period when the Oscars went without a host, following a notable dip in viewership in 2018. The Academy Awards, like many other major events, faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a scaled-down ceremony in 2021 which unfortunately recorded the lowest ratings in its history.
However, with Kimmel's return, the Academy appears to be signaling a return to a more familiar and traditional format that has been well-received in the past.
Kimmel's Memorable Oscar Moments
Kimmel's previous Oscar hosting experiences have been memorable, including overseeing the dramatic 2017 "envelope-gate" incident.
In a remarkable mix-up, "La La Land" was incorrectly announced as the Best Picture winner, a mistake that was only rectified when it was revealed that "Moonlight" was the actual recipient of the award. The incident, which occurred live on stage, placed Kimmel at the center of one of the most talked-about moments in Oscar history.
Beyond the Oscars, Kimmel has also demonstrated his popularity and appeal as a late-night host. Following a hiatus due to the Writers Guild of America strike, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" returned to the airwaves last month, recording its highest-rated season premiere in six years.
This achievement underscores Kimmel's enduring appeal and relevance in the competitive late-night television landscape. Kimmel's selection as host for the fourth time is a testament to his ability to blend humor, spontaneity, and a touch of irreverence, qualities that have made him a favorite among audiences and a safe choice for the Academy as it navigates the evolving landscape of award shows in the post-pandemic era.