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Expect envelope jokes from Kimmel, says Oscars producer

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  • ASSOCITED PRESS Jimmy Kimmel appears at the Oscars in Los Angeles earlier this year. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Kimmel will return for the 90th Oscars in 2018.

LOS ANGELES >> With the dust still settling from the envelope snafu at the Academy Awards, it might seem early to be talking about next year’s ceremony, but producer Jennifer Todd is already thinking up ambitious plans for the sets and the clips to celebrate the 90th Oscars ceremony — and host Jimmy Kimmel’s likely “field day” with jokes about the flub come showtime.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday that Todd, her co-producer Michael De Luca and Kimmel would all be reprising their roles for the 90th Oscars on March 4, 2018. Last year Todd and De Luca were announced as producers in November and didn’t get Kimmel finalized as host until December.

“There were a lot of elements that felt very quick last year, including, like, driving to Jimmy Kimmel’s house and begging him to host the show,” Todd said. “The crunch time is when the nominations come out. There’s a lot that you can’t do — musical numbers or whatnot — until then, but there’s a good amount we can mull over the summer.”

Ratings for the 89th Oscars this past February were the lowest since 2008 with 32.9 million viewers tuning in. Todd is aware and hoping that they’ll be able to raise excitement for next year.

“Getting young people to watch the show is always a priority for us. We need the next generation of people to love movies and want to go to the cinema,” Todd said. “The Academy Awards are sort of the best commercial for movies.”

The 90th Anniversary peg could prove a draw. They’ll plan to celebrate 90 years’ worth of winners, pay homage to the past, and like every year, “bring out as many movie stars as we can.”

“It’s a big year for us,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said. “It’s going to be a big celebration, and it’s wonderful to have a team that’s experienced, and freshly experienced, and already has some wonderful ideas.”

But intrigue following the drama of the envelope mishap is likely to garner the most interest — whether or not something that unforeseen could happen live again and if the show will poke fun at itself.

This year, Faye Dunaway, reading an incorrect card given to her co-presenter Warren Beatty by a distracted PwC accountant, announced “La La Land” as the Best Picture winner. The mistake was corrected on stage, and “Moonlight” was given the award, leading first-time host Kimmel to declare, “I promise I’ll never come back.”

“If I hadn’t produced last year’s show, I would have been like, ‘Oh my gosh this is incredible!’ “People love that something unexpected happened and it was a surprise,” Todd said.

“I felt for the people involved, and felt badly that any moment felt short shrifted. But when you look at the state of the world, you have to put it in its place. I do think humor is the best remedy for all of it. I think we’re going to come up with amazing things about how to expect the unexpected at the Oscars,” she said. “I think Jimmy is going to have a field day with it.”

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