ABC is open to hiring Chris Rock to host next year’s Oscars: nope or fine?

by Susan Ryant

This year’s Oscars were actually “successful.” For years, there’s been a steady decline in viewership, but this year, the audience was way up. I tend to believe that people tuned in (at first) because of certain fan-favorite nominated actors and films, like Will Smith and CODA. Plus, Beyonce performed and people will always tune in for Beyonce. I also believe that people watched the whole show because of the Slap. Will Smith walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock a couple of hours into the telecast – people kept watching for the same reason people stop when there’s a car accident. Rubbernecking to watch the chaos unfold. I still say that the Slap was one of the best things to happen to the Oscars in years. It was an incredible conjunction of live television, failing Academy bureaucracy, cultural touchpoints and real-time social media reporting and reaction. Anyway, ABC’s president of entertainment said that the network plans to recapture that lightning in a bottle by possibly hiring Chris Rock to host next year’s Oscars.

ABC will air the 95th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday March 12, and Craig Erwich promises that the Disney-owned network will make the telecast “even better” than this year.

Erwich, who is President of Entertainment at ABC, told Deadline that despite the Will Smith slap on Chris Rock, he thought it was a “really successful year for the show.”

He was also open to the idea of Rock hosting the show.

“My assessment of the Oscars was that it was really a successful year for the show. Obviously there was a lot of controversy, which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program,” he said. “Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started off up year over year, and we came back in a big way.”

The show, which was hosted by Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, was up nearly 60% in audience and 73% in the key demo from the hostless 2021 Oscars, capturing 16.6M viewers.

“It was the biggest bounce back of any award show this season. If you look at what they were trying to do, which is really bring entertainment back to the program, they had three amazing hosts, clips, and incredible musical performances, I thought it was a great way for the show to reclaim its place on the mantle. There’s always things to learn and we’ll endeavor to do even better next year.”

[From Deadline]

I genuinely hope that they do not get Chris Rock to host. Or Amy Schumer or Wanda Sykes. Regina Hall can come back, she was fine and she’s never come out and claimed to be psychologically traumatized by a grown man slapping another grown man. Mostly, I don’t want Rock to host because y’all know every f–king joke will be about getting slapped or Jada Pinkett Smith. Let’s move on.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red.

Presenters Elliot Page, J.K. Simmons and Chris Rock backstage at the Oscar® for Original Screenplay to Kenneth Branagh during the live ABC telecast of the 94th Oscars® at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, March 27, 2022.,Image: 673582693, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: Avalon Licensing Ltd. do not claim any Copyright of the attached image WORLD RIGHTS- Fee Payable Upon reproduction – For queries contact Avalon sales@Avalon.red London +44 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles +1 310 822 0419 Berlin +49 30 76 212 251 Madrid +34 91 533, Model Release: no, Credit line: Avalon.red / Avalon Chris Rock backstage at the live ABC telecast of the 94th Oscars® at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, March 27, 2022.,Image: 673582761, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: Avalon Licensing Ltd. do not claim any Copyright of the attached image WORLD RIGHTS- Fee Payable Upon reproduction – For queries contact Avalon sales@Avalon.red London +44 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles +1 310 822 0419 Berlin +49 30 76 212 251 Madrid +34 91 533, Model Release: no, Credit line: Avalon.red / Avalon