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ABC Boss Karey Burke on Hostless Oscars: ‘We Will Not Mess With That Format’

ABC Entertainment head Karey Burke addressed the idea that next year’s Oscars could also be without a host like this year’s ceremony.

“I believe we will not mess with that format to the best of our ability,” Burke told reporters on Monday. Burke also said she was not saying yes or no to the idea of Jimmy Kimmel hosting the Oscars in 2020, a real possibility given the fact Kimmel recently signed a three-year extension of his deal with ABC.

She also expressed pride in the fact that this year’s Oscars telecast was up in the ratings compared to last year in a time when most awards shows have seen noticeable drop offs in their live ratings.

The 2019 Oscars drew a 7.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 29.6 million viewers, up approximately 12% in total viewers and 13% in the key demo compared to 2018.

This year’s telecast attracted widespread attention due to the fact that ABC and the Academy were unable to find a host for the ceremony. Comedian Kevin Hart had been attached to host, but just two days after that was announced, Hart stepped down after some of his controversial tweets from nearly a decade ago were resurfaced. After that, it was decided the show would go on with no host.

The uptick in ratings brought great relief after a season plagued with scandals, numerous Academy and ABC insiders told Variety in the aftermath of the February show. A pervasive “if it aint broke” mentality prevails.

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