Why Isn’t There a Host for the Emmys This Year?

When The Television Academy announced nominees for the 2019 Emmy Awards, there was one crucial piece of information left out. The announcement of a host for the awards show didn’t happen. A host wasn’t announced in the coming weeks either, and suddenly it became clear that the show would go on without an MC for the first time in more than 15 years. While the Academy Awards was hostless in 2019, it wasn’t exactly a decision made by the Academy. The absence of a host for the Emmys is a choice, and, in many ways, it’s a calculated risk.

The Emmys appear to be following The Oscars lead

Earlier in the year, the Academy Awards went on without a host. Kevin Hart had been selected to host the famed awards show but dropped out amid controversial jokes he had made many years prior. Without time to find a stand-in, the show went live with a series of stars taking over portions of the show. While there was some concern that it would be a disaster; the show was a success. In fact, it did better ratings-wise sans an official MC, and the critics loved the move away from the more traditional structure.

The Emmys seem to be following the blueprint. While there was no controversy surrounding the show’s potential host, the decision was made to leave the ceremony without an official master of ceremonies. According to Entertainment Weekly, Fox CEO, Charlie Collier was questioned about the decision to go hostless. According to Collier, the network used the ratings from The Oscars to make a final decision, but he insists it is not the only reason the show will be without a star kicking off the show for the first time since 2003.

Why is the Emmy Awards going without a host?

Collier told the press that several key factors played into the decision not to utilize a host for the 2019 Emmys. Fox allegedly was more interested in highlighting the talent of the shows being honored; specifically, the ceremony will honor several shows that will not return to the airwaves next year. By going without, there will be more time to focus more intently on the talent.  

The absence of a host might have something to do with Fox’s lineup, too. Entertainment Weekly notes that the Emmys rotate between networks each year. While CBS, ABC, and NBC all have late-night franchises, Fox does not. Frequently, stars from late-night franchises are pinged for the job. It is possible the show is going without a host simple because Fox doesn’t have a late-night talk show star to utilize.  

When was the last time the show went without a host?

The decision to leave the Emmy Awards without a host is undoubtedly a unique one. The awards ceremony has only gone without an official host three times in recent history. Before this year’s ceremony, the show went without a host in 2003. It also didn’t have an official host in 1998 for its 50th showing.

71st Emmy Awards Governors Ball
71st Emmy Awards Governors Ball | (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Before the 1998 ceremony, the Emmy Awards had a host every year since 1975. Each show managed to go off relatively seamlessly, and viewers may be seeing a new trend emerge. While Hart’s decision to step down left The Oscars in a bit of a tight spot, he managed to show the entertainment world that, perhaps, times are changing. By stepping down, amid controversy or not, Hart allowed the Academy to test out a new format, and it worked brilliantly. The Emmy Awards are following that script.