Comedian to follow Martin as 2004 kudocast emcee

After taking a three-year breather, Billy Crystal will return for his eighth stint as host of the 76th Annual Academy Awards.

Oscar telecast producer Joe Roth will make the announcement today (Daily Variety, Sept. 23). ABC will telecast the Oscars live from the Kodak Theatre on Feb. 29 – the final Sunday of February sweeps .

Crystal hosted the kudocast from 1990 through 1993, then returned in 1997 and 1998, and again in 2000. Steve Martin hosted last year’s event. Crystal has won four Emmys for writing and hosting the show.

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