×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oscar Nominations Reveal Nothing About Hostless Ceremony

While Tuesday brought a fresh pack of Oscar nominees, we are no closer to understanding what’s in store when the golden statues are handed out on live television come Feb. 24.

The point of the dramatic nominees announcement each year is to drum up excitement for the telecast — but this morning, the announcement didn’t feature a last-minute host, highlighted presenters, notable music acts or, honestly, much of anything besides the nominees.

Instead, viewers were treated to the pleasant banter between Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross, who doled out the first batch of nominations on a YouTube livestream at 8:20 a.m. and then a second at 8:30 a.m., cutting into ABC’s national broadcast. Jokes about the pain of waking up for the early announcement ensued, but zero information about what kind of telecast is being crafted — although some people tweeted that Nanjiani and Ross would probably work out just fine as Oscar hosts.

The nominees live spot did not even include a tune-in for the Oscars. No executive leadership from the Academy addressed the streaming or national audiences, though that has been policy since John Bailey assumed the academy presidency from Cheryl Boone Isaacs in 2017. The Academy has also stopped inviting press to the nominee announcement, deepening the mystery in a year marked by host drama.

Only two weeks ago, the Academy, network ABC and show producer Donna Gigliotti finally laid the prospect of embattled comedian Kevin Hart as host to bed. They instead forged on with the concept of no host at all, Variety previously reported.

Promo spots are currently airing on ABC promoting only the date and time of the OscarsVariety previously reported the broadcast would rely on big-name presenters to amp up their duties, beyond reading a list of nominees and handing out a trophy. Music is also expected to have an expanded footprint, thanks to nominees minted just this morning like Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and SZA and Diana Warren (whose song “I’ll Fight” from “RBG” is sung by Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson).

The only info to surface in recent days was a report that Marvel Studios would be sending some of its finest Avengers to light up Oscar night. While none were named, individuals close to show told Variety that the original team of heroes (like Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and so on) would make the most sense, given the huge finale they’ll deliver the world this April in “Avengers: Endgame.” They’re likely to feel extra generous after this morning, as “Avengers: Infinity War” was nominated for best achievement in visual effects.

There are 34 days until stars and industry figures pull up in chauffeured SUVs to Hollywood’s Dolby Theater. What awaits them remains a mystery.

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content