Jimmy Fallon has debunked recent rumors about being in talks to host the 2013 Oscars. In an interview with Matt Lauer for "Today" on Wednesday, the late night TV host said "No, I'm not going to do The Oscars."
Fallon had been in talks with former Academy president Tom Sherak about hosting the annual ceremony. He has already hosted the Emmys, so it wouldn't be a stretch to have him host the 85th Academy Awards.
Before leaving his post last week, Sherak also talked to "Saturday Night Live" executive producer Lorne Michaels regarding the production of the February telecast.
If the former SNL star were interested in hosting the show, conflicts could have risen from his current post at NBC. As the host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" he is in direct competition with ABC's late night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
The Academy Awards have been broadcast on ABC since the 1970s and are contracted to stay with the network until 2014. As had been reported here previously, "there's a strong sense NBC wouldn't allow Fallon to give its competition any kind of boost."
The Los Angeles Times also pointed out the conflict, but noted that ABC doesn't have any direct control over the host selection. Only the Academy can make that decision, but it is believed the network may have some say in the matter.
Zap2It claims there is a direct connection between Fallon being denied the hosting role and the higher-ups at Disney, the parent company of ABC. The theory is that Disney CEO Robert Iger and executives at ABC are "leery of the idea of giving Fallon such a big platform on their network."
Iger is also the chairman of the Academy's $250 million capital campaign to raise money for a new museum. His position with the campaign brings Iger even closer to the people behind the decision to keep Fallon off the show.
Johnny Carson, Jon Stewart and David Letterman have all hosted the Academy Awards while being featured stars of programming on other networks. The LA Times notes that none of them have ever posed the same kind of threat to an ABC show that Fallon does.
"It's an honor to be asked by the Academy," Fallon said in his interview with Lauer. "...But it's not my year."