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The lead-up to this year's Oscars ceremony has been like a continuing loop of the "This is fine" meme, with controversy after controversy plaguing the telecast over the past few months. But according to the new president of ABC Entertainment, all of that drama has only made the event more buzzworthy than ever.

During a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday, Karey Burke addressed concerns about all of the uncertainty that still surrounds the ceremony, despite its looming air date later his month. While Burke herself might be feeling a bit like that dog in a burning room, she didn't show it, assuring reporters that even though she was initially worried about what went down with former host Kevin Hart (who dropped out after some of his old homophobic tweets surfaced), she's since changed her tune.

“I ironically have found that the lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept it in the conversation, and the mystery has been really compelling,” the exec told the TCA crowd. “People really care. I think it’s fascinating… to me that shows evidence of how relevant the Oscars still are.”

Burke also said that this year's Oscars would forego having a host altogether, something that the Academy confirmed on Tuesday. That would help the show keep its pledge of clocking in at only three hours -- nearly an hour shorter than last year's telecast.

“The main goal, which I’m told the Academy promised last year, is to keep the show to three hours,” Burke said. “The producers decided to wisely not have a host and have the presenters and the movies be the stars. That’s the best way to keep the show to a brisk three hours.”

The exec was upbeat about the big draw of box office hits among the nominees (namely $200 million-plus grossers "Black Panther," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "A Star Is Born"), as well as the "phenomenal" tunes up for Best Original Song, which Burke confirmed will all be performed. (Thanks to Lady Gaga, perhaps?) There are still some unanswered questions, including which awards will be cut from the live telecast, but Burke also pledged that there would be a "very exciting opener."

Based on everything that's gone down with this year's show already, we're definitely expecting the unexpected. The 91st annual Oscars will air on ABC on Sunday, February 24.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]