If you weren’t into Jimmy Kimmel’s habit of incorporating non-celebrities into the Oscars, good news: This year’s ceremony won’t feature anything like that. The decision comes from Donna Gigliotti, who’s producing the event and has a simple reason for axing the divisive segments: “I love everyday people,” she told the New York Times in a preview of this Sunday. “I ride the subway with them every day in New York. Everyday people don’t get me ratings.”
As for the Academy’s eventual decision to air every acceptance speech live, Gigliotti said that it means the broadcast will no longer be three hours. “We were hired to deliver a shortened show. How do we do that so you’re not seeing award, award, commercial, award, commercial, award? So boring,” she said.
In lieu of an actual host, notes the Times piece, “eight people from outside the world of entertainment will give the presentations” on this year’s Best Picture nominees. One of them is tennis superstar Serena Williams, who will share her love of “A Star Is Born.” The fact there will be no host was seen as an opportunity to help shorten the broadcast, which won’t feature the customary (and lengthy) monologue to begin the show.
“Along with inclusion, which we definitely want to embrace, the big theme of the show is about movies connecting us — not in this theater but in a big, sweeping, cultural way,” Gigliotti said. “There are so many things to balance. Some viewers want to see glamour. You have to pay attention to where there is humor and where there is music. When do we guess that people at home might get up to make popcorn in the kitchen, and what can we have on right after that to bring them back?” Read the full preview here.