After stunning the audience, TV viewers, and his girlfriend with a surprise onstage proposal at the Emmys this year, director Glenn Weiss is returning to helm the 91st Academy Awards ceremony along with Hidden Figures producer Donna Gigliotti, the organizers of the Oscars announced Monday.
Weiss, who won an Emmy last month for directing this year’s Oscars telecast, where The Shape of Water took home Best Picture, has directed the past three Oscar ceremonies, including the now-infamous 2017 show that culminated in a Best Picture mix-up between La La Land and Moonlight. He will direct and co-produce the 2019 show, while Gigliotti — who won an Oscar in 1999 for producing Shakespeare in Love and more recently was nominated for Silver Linings Playbook and Hidden Figures — will serve as producer. She is producing the Oscars for the first time.
“Donna Gigliotti has worked on some of the most celebrated films of our time and is uniquely qualified to bring her talent to the most anticipated awards show of the year,” ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement. “And, thanks to Glenn Weiss, we just experienced the most talked-about moment at the Emmys with his heartfelt onstage wedding proposal. We can’t wait to see how they top that at the Oscars.”
Producing the Oscars is a coveted gig, as it’s the most-watched awards show on television, but the ceremony has suffered from ratings decline in recent years, drawing its lowest audience to date this year with just 26.5 million viewers. The Academy attempted to introduce new initiatives this year to draw a younger audience, including a “popular film” category that was later postponed after it was criticized for marginalizing blockbuster films. It also proposed to cut the show to a tighter three-hour run-time, pushing some of the less celebrity-filled categories to be handed out during the commercial breaks, a move that has also garnered some criticism by industry members.