The host of NBC’s “Late Night” is no longer in the running to host the Academy Awards following objections from Disney CEO Robert Iger and executives at ABC, the Los Angeles Times reports. Iger and his ABC cohorts were reportedly leery of the idea of giving Fallon such a big platform on their network.
Fallon confirmed he’s out of the running Wednesday (Aug. 8) on the “Today” show. “It’s an honor to be asked by the academy, but it’s not my year,” he says.
There is still a chance that “Saturday Night Live” executive producer Lorne Michaels (who also produces “Late Night”) will produce the Oscar telecast.
Tom Sherak, the outgoing president of the motion picture academy, started talks with Fallon about hosting the Oscars, which are seemingly forever in search of a host that will bring in huge amounts of young viewers (even though research the nominated movies affect ratings much more than the host). ABC can’t block the academy’s choice of a host, but Iger and Co. expressed concern about Fallon since he competes directly with ABC’s own late-night host, Jimmy Kimmel.
It’s hardly unprecedented for someone with a show on another network to serve as Oscar host — Jon Stewart has hosted twice in recent years, and Johnny Carson hosted five times in the 1970s and ’80s during his “Tonight Show” tenure. Neither of them, however, were in direct competition with a show on ABC at the time.