ABC's Karey Burke implies it's possible the 2020 Oscars go on without a host. As many people know, the 91st Academy Awards (which took place this past February) marked the first time in 30 years the ceremony took place sans emcee. Originally, Kevin Hart was pegged for the gig, but after he stepped down, no replacement was found. Many figured a host-less Oscars would be a train wreck, particularly since the Academy had a very tumultuous year where they ended up backtracking on all of their controversial proposed changes to the show. Fortunately, that couldn't have been further from the case.
The 2019 Oscars saw a noticeable increase in viewership ratings, and many were quick to comment how much they enjoyed the host-less format. Gone were ill-conceived segments where celebrities shot hot dog cannons at unsuspecting movie patrons and instead the focus was primarily on the nominated films and award winners. As it turns out, the Academy may have stumbled on to something, and next year's show could happen without a host too.
In an interview with THR, Burke was asked about the 2020 Oscars and whether there'd be a host. She left the door open for anything to happen in her response, but her comments are still be interesting:
We're having those conversations with the Academy right now. We are extremely happy with how the show went. Odds are you'll see us repeating what we consider to be a successful formula.
It remains to be seen how these discussions will pan out, but one has to imagine the "successful formula" Burke's alluding to would be a replication of what transpired this year. The host-less Oscars were by and large a success, moving along at a relatively brisk pace with a parade of A-list presenters creating memorable moments that stood out. It's not surprising to hear ABC is at least entertaining the idea of going host-less again - even if it's just as an experiment to see if this formula is sustainable for the longterm or if what happened in 2019 was a fluke.
Oscar ceremonies of years past had some iconic hosts, but an argument can be made that in today's day and age, it's a thankless job. No matter how talented some of the recent selections were, they ended up being in a no-win situation where they were either too risqué or too bland - with little middle ground. It's not exactly an appealing scenario for people to walk into, opening themselves up to intense criticism where they can seemingly do nothing right. If they Academy can't find anyone willing to host, then they know they have something that works in the host-less Oscars.