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And Next Year's Oscars Host Is: Ellen DeGeneres

September 08, 2006|Greg Braxton

Hollywood's annual guessing game -- Who will host the Oscars? -- has ended before it even started: Ellen DeGeneres will take the reins at next year's 79th annual Academy Awards broadcast.

Laura Ziskin, producer of the ceremony, made the announcement Thursday as DeGeneres, who will host the Oscars for the first time, was in the middle of taping her Emmy Award-winning syndicated talk show.

"She's been in my mind for a long time, and I just always thought if I ever produced the Oscars, I would want her to host," said Ziskin, who added that she was particularly impressed by DeGeneres when she hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"The Oscars is a long, live event, and it takes unique skill to host," Ziskin said. "Whoever hosts it has to be able to work off what's happening in the room. And Ellen is a spectacular entertainer."

DeGeneres, who has hosted the Emmys twice, follows in the footsteps of last year's Academy Awards host, Jon Stewart, and 2004 Oscar host Chris Rock. Both comedians received mixed reviews. The Oscars are scheduled for Feb. 25.

-- Greg Braxton

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