Academy: Comedian Jimmy Kimmel to host 2017 Oscars

LOS ANGELES, Dec 5 (Reuters) - U.S. comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will host the 2017 Oscars ceremony in February, organizers said on Monday, taking on one of the trickiest jobs in show business.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed that Kimmel had been chosen after it was first reported by Hollywood trade publication Variety.


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Kimmel, 49, who hosts ABC television's "Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel," will be a first-time host of the Oscars, the most prestigious night in the movie industry. He previously hosted the 2016 Emmy Awards for television and is a past host of the American Music Awards show.

The 2017 Oscars ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, and will be broadcast domestically on ABC.

"Yes, I am hosting the Oscars. This is not a prank. And if it is, my revenge on @TheAcademy will be terrible & sweet," Kimmel tweeted on Monday.

The Academy was unusually late in announcing who will host the 2017 ceremony, a deal which is normally sewn up by November.

The job is a difficult balancing act with competing goals of entertaining hundreds of A-list stars at the venue, as well as a worldwide TV audience, and moving along presentations for some 20 awards.

More on Jimmy Kimmel at the Emmys

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Actor Matt Damon (L) jokes around with show host Jimmy Kimmel at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon (L) and host Jimmy Kimmel speak onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon (L) and host Jimmy Kimmel speak onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon (L) and host Jimmy Kimmel speak onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon speaks onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon (L) and host Jimmy Kimmel speak onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon speaks onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon speaks onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon (L) and host Jimmy Kimmel speak onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Matt Damon (L) and host Jimmy Kimmel speak onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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Kimmel follows Chris Rock, a black comedian who hosted the 2016 Oscars amid a controversy over the all-white acting nominee lineup and the wider lack of diversity in the industry. The show drew the lowest U.S. television audience in eight years with just 34 million viewers.

Previous recent hosts have included TV star Neil Patrick Harris, comedian Ellen DeGeneres and "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane.

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Actor Ryan Gosling (L) and Actor Russell Crowe present on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON / AFP / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Charles Randolph (L) and Adam McKay accep their awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, The Big Short on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON / AFP / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: David White (L) and Mark A. Mangini win the Best Sound Editing award for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Members of Ex-Machina visual effects team accept their award for visual effects on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON / AFP / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
THE OSCARS(r) - THEATRE - The 88th Oscars, held on Sunday, February 28, at the Dolby Theatre(r) at Hollywood & Highland Center(r) in Hollywood, are televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images) CATE BLANCHETT
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Mark A. Mangini (L) and David White accept the Best Sound Editing award for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Musicians Verdine White (L) and Philip Bailey (R) of Earth, Wind & Fire and Beck attend the 24th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party at The City of West Hollywood Park on February 28, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actors Daisy Ridley (L) and Dev Patel speak onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Director Asif Kapadia (L) and James Gay-Rees (R) accept the award for Best Documentary Feature, Amy, on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON / AFP / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Actress Rachel McAdams (C) attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Musician Dave Grohl performs onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs speaks onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actor Jacob Tremblay (L) and Actor Abraham Attah present on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON / AFP / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
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