Television viewers who flip on the tube Wednesday may fear they're seeing double as Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres first welcomes Jimmy Kimmel to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," then trades places and appears as a guest herself on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that same evening.
It's all part of the Mobius-strip nature of Oscar promotion, at a time when nominees are similarly crisscrossing the talk-show circuit at a breakneck pace.
Kimmel will appear as a guest on "Ellen" on Wednesday afternoon, but as that show is taped in advance, he'll actually record the episode on Tuesday. A preview of the episode on the show website touts Kimmel's annual post-Oscar special, which "comes on the heels of Ellen's big night, so the two have a lot to plan together!"
During DeGeneres' stop on Kimmel's couch Wednesday evening, she will presumably continue to beat the drum for her second gig as Oscar host and possibly engage in another "nice-off," as they did on Kimmel's show in 2011. DeGeneres will also hype her live post-Oscar episode of "Ellen," which will air Monday, March 3, the day after statuettes are handed out. It will be the third live episode in the show's history.
So, to recap this Oscar-themed talk-show ouroboros: Kimmel will appear on DeGeneres' show to promote his post-Oscar special, and by extension his usual weeknight show, on which DeGeneres will appear to promote the Oscars themselves, as well as her own post-Oscar special. And on top of all that, Kimmel will hope to get a bump from the Ellen-hosted Oscars when his special airs after the movie kudos end. Got all of that?
Though "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and the Oscars are network siblings — both are broadcast on ABC — DeGeneres' visit will mark the first time in recent years that an upcoming host has appeared on Kimmel's show so close to the ceremony. The two previous Oscar hosts, Seth MacFarlane and Billy Crystal, only popped up in sketches on Kimmel's post-Oscar show. James Franco, an Oscar co-host in 2011 with Anne Hathaway, did sit down with Kimmel, but that was nearly two months before the ceremony.
Logistically, it should prove easy enough for DeGeneres and Kimmel to hop back and forth: Her show tapes on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, just up the freeway from Hollywood, while the Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars are held, and the El Capitan Theatre, where Kimmel tapes, are across the street from each other.