By James Hibberd
August 07, 2019 at 01:29 PM EDT

It’s official: The Emmys will not have a host this year.

The news was announced by Fox CEO Charlie Collier on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills.

The move follows the Oscars going hostless last February after planned host Kevin Hart dropped out amid controversy about some of his older jokes.

Oscars’ ratings actually improved without a host (by roughly 12 percent), and received a fair degree of critical acclaim. One critic asked Collier if the Academy Awards’ ratings uptick inspired Fox to dump the Emmys’ host too.

“Obviously, that was a piece of information and it did do very well but I think it’s a pretty unique year for some of America’s favorite shows and it was the right thing to do,” he said. 

Collier was also asked if anybody was approached to host the show (and then, presumably, turned the gig down).

“We’ve had a lot of names on the board [internally] but the conclusion was reached this year that we’re highlighting so many shows going away that it was a better use of the time [to focus on the shows],” he said. “There will be entertainment. There will be an opening number. If you look at the trade-offs in a show like the Emmys, so often its a trade-off between the opening acts and using the time elsewhere. There will be many surprises. It will be entertaining.” 

Fox also doesn’t have a traditional late-night franchise — which is typically the first place a network looks for a potential host when airing a major awards show. This will be the first time the Emmys have gone hostless since 2003, a year when the ceremony also aired on Fox (it rotates each year between ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC).

Earlier in the week, former Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel told reporters he thought the reason for the ratings climb was more due to the relative brevity of the telecast rather than the lack of host. “It’s a no-win type situation,” Kimmel said of hosting the awards, in comments that could also be applied to hosting the Emmys. “It’s a very difficult job. Even when it seems like it went great, you go home and realize, ‘Oh people [didn’t like it]’. If you don’t care what people think it’s great. I do [care] so it’s kind of a f—king nightmare. … The fact that ratings on the Oscars was higher [without a host] was because the show was shorter, and if they do it again they’ll find that’s the case.”

The Emmys were on NBC last year, which tapped Saturday Night Live Weekend Update anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost for the gig, and the duo received rather mixed reviews.

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will be held Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

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