It will be DeGeneres’ second tour of duty as Oscar host, having previously emceed the 79th annual Academy Awards in 2007 and earning an Emmy nomination. The popular syndicated talkshow host also fronted the Emmys in 2001 and 2005 (co-hosting them in 2003).
“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time,” DeGeneres said, joking that “you know what they say – the third time’s the charm.”
The 86th annual Academy Awards, which will take place March 2, are being exec produced for the second year in a row by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
“We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars,” said Zadan and Meron jointly. “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.”
Though DeGeneres has had extensive experience in television and some in film as well (perhaps most notably as the voice of Dory in “Finding Nemo”), her prime focus currently is hosting “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” – and as such is the first person who is primarily a daytime talk personality ever to host the Oscars. The last host who wasn’t first and foremost an actor was Jon Stewart in 2007.
The news comes three days after Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
“I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Boone Isaacs. “We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”
Added Academy CEO Dawn Hudson: “Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience. She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has won 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons. Though DeGeneres’ show airs on NBC owned-and-operated stations, she has a history with Oscar broadcaster ABC, with her landmark sitcom “Ellen” having run there from 1994-98. In 1997, DeGeneres won the Peabody Award and a writing Emmy for the episode in which her character came out as a gay woman, with 46 million viewers watching.
“It is an honor to welcome back Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the biggest entertainment celebration of the year,” said ABC Entertainment Group prexy Paul Lee. “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.”
Over the last eight years, the 2007 Oscars hosted by DeGeneres stands as the top rated in both adults 18-49 (14.1 rating/33 share) and women 25-54 (19.2/40).