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Whoopi Goldberg to host Tonys

Actress is first emcee to nab gig since 2005

The Tonys will have a host this year, for the first time since 2005.

Whoopi Goldberg will emcee the 2008 telecast of Broadway’s big night, after two years in which the award ceremony had no single host.

Goldberg announced the news Thursday on her daytime gig, “The View.”

Thesp is no stranger to kudocasts, having emceed the Oscars four times. She is also a Rialto producer with an upcoming revival of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” in the works.

In 2005 Hugh Jackman manned the podium for the third year in a row. A large group of presenters and performers served as collective hosts in 2006 and 2007.

The Tonycast on CBS has been plagued by declining ratings, with the 2007 show logging 6.24 million viewers, its lowest numbers yet. But one of the rare spikes in recent years came when another host with a daytime platform, Rosie O’Donnell, hosted her first of three ceremonies in 1997. (At the time O’Donnell sat behind the desk at her own self-titled chatfest.)

It remains unclear how much Goldberg will push the Tonys on “The View,” but the show has in the past featured performances from current Rialto offerings during the run-up to the kudos.

CBS broadcasts the Tony Awards live from Radio City Music Hall on June 15. Noms are announced May 13.

Goldberg’s Broadway credits as an actor include “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (2003) and a replacement stint in the 1996 revival of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” along with solo outings in 1984 and 2004. She was also a producer of Tony-winning 2002 tuner “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

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