It probably is about time the showbiz world accepted that award shows are a preserve of late-night television hosts.
Jimmy Kimmel will host the 2017 Oscars and while this choice was done by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, it only lends credence to the trend that is quickly taking award shows by storm.
Kimmel’s other late night colleagues James Corden and Jimmy Fallon will host the 2017 Grammy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards respectively. To cement all this, Stephen Colbert hosted the 2016 Kennedy Centers. While the Kennedy Center Honors is not as popular, it is a star-studded event nonetheless.
And, statistics are backing this emerging trend. Corden leads with the number of telecasts scooped this far, including his role in the upcoming Grammys. In 2009 and successively between 2011 and 2014, the “Carpool Karaoke” genius hosted the Brit Awards before crossing the Atlantic to emcee the Tony Awards of 2016, dubbed the most successful in a 15-year run.
Closely behind Mr. Corden is Jon Steward, the retired host of The Daily Show. While at the helm, Jon emceed the Academy Awards in 2006 and then two years later. Before this, he had hosted the Grammys in 2001 and again in 2002.
Kimmel, the third in this pecking order, got his upcoming role probably because of his successful past roles in the 2012 and 2016 Emmy Awards. Conan O’Brien, another light in the industry, hosted the Emmys in 2002, 2003 and 2007 while Seth Meyers hosted the show in 2014. Before this, he had hosted ESPY Awards in 2010 and then a year later.
Fallon closes the top six, a sure sign of the late-night grab. Fallon though riding on the glory of great ratings during the two years he has hosted The Tonight Show, is not just as stellar in the hosting scene as he has only two award shows to his name.
Seemingly, a huge paycheck does not equate to hosting opportunities for the highest paid late-night host. Colbert, another top earner (he actually ties with Fallon at $15 million gross earnings in 2016), has kept away from awards, that is if you disregard his 27 Emmy nominations and 9 wins in his illustrious 12-year career.
O’Brien and Kimmel are the other two making the top four with $12.5 million and $12 million in earnings respectively.
So now that it probably is not about the earnings, what factors are informing this emerging trend?
It is safe to assume that ratings are at play here. Viewership of the Grammys hit a six-year low in 2016. It is therefore only wise for the Recording Academy, to give the hosting role to Corden, who is just concluding his most successful year. Chris Rock hosted the 2015 Academy Awards and even this event had less impressive viewership, being the third least-watched in the award’s history. Golden Globes also suffered a similar fate, recording an 11% drop, which was shocking considering that the 2014 telecast was the second highest viewed telecast in a ten-year span.
The host of the 2017 Emmys is still a secret but while that is so, it will not be surprising if this role also goes to one of the late-night monologue kings.