Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the Oscars for the third time, The Academy announced on Monday. Best known as the face of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he previously hosted the 89th and 90th Oscars ceremonies, in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The upcoming 95th Academy Awards will be held on March 12, 2023.
“Introducing your 95th Academy Awards host, Jimmy Kimmel. Welcome back!” The Academy posted on Twitter, alongside a graphic of Kimmel that also included telecast details. In a statement, executive producers Glen Weiss and Ricky Kirshner said that they’re super-thrilled “to have Jimmy score his hat-trick on this global stage.”
Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang praised Kimmel’s love for films and said that he’s “the perfect host” for next year’s ceremony. Kimmel commented on his return in trademark tongue-in-cheek fashion. In his own words:
“Being invited to host the Oscars for a third time is either a great honor or a trap. Either way, I am grateful to the Academy for asking me so quickly after everyone good said no.”
Kimmel hosted arguably the most controversial ceremony in recent Oscars history. At the 89th Academy Awards, presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty erroneously announced the musical La La Land as the Best Picture winner, but it was revealed a few minutes later that there had been a mix-up. The real winner was director Barry Jenkins’ drama Moonlight. Kimmel was in the thick of it, trying to make jokes as producers tried to mend fences and bring the show back on track.
Almost as an elaborate practical joke, Kimmel was asked to return as the host the very next year, with Dunaway and Beatty once again as the presenters for the ceremony’s biggest award. The presentation went off without a hitch, as director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water was announced as the winner.
The 2017 ceremony drew a solid 32.9 million viewers, while the 2018 ceremony was watched by 26.5 million viewers. The Academy is currently navigating a rather rough patch, as it confronts dwindling interest in the Oscars among general audiences. Efforts have also been made to ensure more diversity among the nominees, a constant sticking point in recent years among critics of the historic awards. Additionally, The Academy has tried to broaden the field to include more mainstream blockbusters in the lineup, but there’s no hard evidence to suggest that this has translated into an increase in ratings.
In fact, the viewership figures have been in free-fall. The 2020 ceremony was watched by 23.6 million viewers, while the 2021 ceremony, conducted in the middle of the pandemic, drew only 10.4 million viewers — the lowest since figures began to be compiled in 1974. Neither of those two shows had a host. Last year’s Oscars did, however, witness an uptick, with 16.6 million viewers tuning in to watch CODA win Best Picture.
Next year’s Oscars could continue the upward trend, with major movies such as Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Top Gun: Maverick in contention to claim the populist slots in the Best Picture lineup, which can include up to 10 films. The 95th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theater. The show will air live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide. The nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates, and get a look at The Academy’s announcement tweet here: