The Academy Awards organizers are really on the ball this year. Avoiding speculation, rumor and debate, they’ve gone ahead and announced the host for the 86th Academy Awards: Ellen DeGeneres.
Ellen DeGeneres has already hosted the Oscars once before, for the 79th Academy Awards back in 2006. That was the year The Departed won Best Picture, in case you wanted a reference point. She did quite well then and hopefully she’ll be on point now, seven years on.
The Academy Awards have seen a lot of ups and downs in recent ceremonies, from broadcasts that went far too long, musical numbers that went nowhere (or offended as many people as possible), and hosts that were less than award-worthy. I don’t think any of us will forget the disastrous co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway any time soon. Bringing DeGeneres back will help to expand viewership – she has a pretty good cross-generational appeal – as well as maybe bring back some of the humor that has been sadly lacking in recent ceremonies.
This sounds like a brilliant idea to me. I was not in love with Seth MacFarlane’s sophomoric gig at last year’s Academy Awards; if you’re going to be offensive and tasteless, at least have the courtesy to be funny. DeGeneres is a likable onscreen presence, she’s outspoken without being preachy, and – brace yourselves! – she’s actually funny. If the organizers allow her to be entertaining instead of just a mouthpiece, the show should be a lot of fun.
You can check out the full press release announcing Ellen DeGeneres’s hosting duties below.
Do you think Ellen will be a good host for the 86th Academy Awards, or would you have preferred someone else at the microphone? Let us know in the comments section.
The 86th Academy Awards will air on ABC on March 2, 2014. Let the Oscar pools begin!
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Television icon Ellen DeGeneres will return to host the Oscars® for a second time, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Academy Awards® will be broadcast live on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, on the ABC Television Network.
“We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars,” said Zadan and Meron. “As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”
“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm,” said DeGeneres.
“I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. “We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”
“Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. “She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”
“It is an honor to welcome back Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the biggest entertainment celebration of the year,” said Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group. “She is the consummate entertainer, equally beloved by her peers in the industry, movie fans and television viewers. We very much look forward to having her back on ABC for Oscar Sunday.”
DeGeneres hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007, for which she received a Primetime Emmy® nomination for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.”
DeGeneres has made a home for herself in daytime with her hit syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which has earned a total of 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons.
DeGeneres’ began her career as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown of New Orleans. Her acting career in television included roles in several successful sitcoms before being offered a part on “These Friends of Mine” by ABC. After the first season, the show was renamed “Ellen.” Running from 1994 to 1998, the show garnered record ratings, with DeGeneres receiving Emmy nominations each season in the Best Actress category. In 1997, DeGeneres was the recipient of the coveted Peabody Award as well as earning an Emmy for writing the critically acclaimed “Puppy Episode” when her character came out as a gay woman to a record 46 million viewers.
DeGeneres has also been successful in her feature film work. DeGeneres scored unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, Dory, the fish with extreme short-term memory, in the blockbuster Pixar animated feature “Finding Nemo.” DeGeneres recently announced the highly anticipated sequel to “Finding Nemo,” Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” currently scheduled to be released in November 2015.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.