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Oscars: Producer says two hosts will be taking the stage next year

Oscars producer David Hill says he and fellow producer Reginald Hudlin will be selecting two people for the hosting job. As film festivals approach this fall, the Oscars season is beginning to heat up.

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    An Oscar statue appears at the 2012 Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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When the Academy Awards roll around next year, there will be not one but two people onstage emceeing the show.

According to Oscars producer David Hill, he and fellow producer Reginald Hudlin are seeking two hosts for the ceremony.

It was recently announced that Hill, who has worked at Fox in various sports capacities such as serving as an executive producer for the 2011 World Series, and Hudlin, who was a producer for the 2012 film “Django Unchained” and was president of entertainment for BET Networks, will be behind the scenes for the Oscar ceremony.

When asked in an interview why he and Hudlin were going for two hosts, Hill said, “Two is better than one” and joked, “If we run out of options, it’s going to be Reggie and me as hosts.”

The notion of two people serving as hosts most likely reminds Oscar fans of the 2011 ceremony, when actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco shared hosting duties. However, their stint was not well-received. The year before that, actors Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin worked in tandem and got better reviews for their time as hosts. 

Other awards ceremonies have had mixed results from having multiple people on stage. The Golden Globes scored the past few years by having former “Saturday Night Live” comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the show – they held the job from 2013 to 2015 and received positive reviews each year. However, the Emmy Awards tried having reality show hosts Heidi Klum, Tom Bergeron, Jeff Probst, Howie Mandel, and Ryan Seacrest all host the show together in 2008 and the show did not score with viewers. 

Having multiple people host the Oscars in particular used to be much more common. Some years, far more than two teamed up for the job, including the 1958 ceremony where actors Jack Lemmon, Bob Hope, Rosalind Russell, James Stewart, David Niven, and cartoon character Donald Duck all hosted. While Hope is often remembered as a legendary Oscars host, he also took on the job with others, as when he hosted with the aforementioned group or when he teamed up with actors including Conrad Nagel, John Cromwell, and Thelma Ritter.

Producers of the Oscars are often walking a tightrope when selecting hosts. In past years, those behind the show have either brought on what they doubtless viewed as hip young talent – the previous host, “How I Met Your Mother” actor Neil Patrick Harris, and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane in 2013 – or brought back hosts who have done well before, as when actor Billy Crystal returned for another go-round in 2012 or when talk show host Ellen DeGeneres came back to host in 2014. 

If anything, having two people take on the job probably eases the pressure on the other. Oscar fans will no doubt be curious to see who will be helming the show next year.

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