The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed that Kevin Hart will host the 91st Oscars [via The Hollywood Reporter].
The last two Oscar telecasts were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. However, the consistent downfall in viewership, with a record-low 26.5 million viewers tuning in for last March’s broadcast, meant something had to change. The fact of the matter is this: Awards shows have become a prehistoric thing of the past, and millennials don't care for it, which is why the coveted 18-49 demographic has been atrocious for them these past few years. The Academy has promised that the show won’t run for over three hours, a common complaint made by the ceremony's detractors, by announcing that not all 24 Oscar categories would be revealed live.
Hart is a big draw for millennial audiences. He previously hosted the MTV Movie Awards alongside Dwayne Johnson and has mentioned his desire to host the Oscars for the past few years now. Hart even went as far as telling the morning show Live With Kelly and Michael that he was actively campaigning to get the hosting gig: "That would be a major accomplishment. With what I've done and the progress I've made in my career, that's definitely the next major step, I feel, for a comedian."
The Oscars will air live on Sunday, Feb. 24, on ABC.