Barbara Walters announced on Monday (Feb. 15) that this will be the last year for her annual Oscar Night edition of “The Barbara Walters Special.”
That doesn’t necessarily sound like a big deal until you realize that “The Barbara Walters Special” has aired on Oscar Night for the past 29 years and that Walters’ interviews during that time have included Catherine Zeta Jones, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller, John Travolta, Mike Meyers, Michael Douglas, George Clooney, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Oprah Winfrey, Shirley MacLaine, Sophia Loren, Anthony Hopkins and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Walters made the announcement on “The View” and explained, “ABC has asked me to keep doing these specials as they have been so successful — and I’m thrilled we have such great stars and have such a wonderful show for this last one — but to be honest, I feel like I”ve ‘been there, done that.'”
The Oscar Night Specials launched in 1981, when her guests included Brooke Shields, Loretta Lynn, Linda Gray, Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach.
“When we first started this special, I don”t think any of us knew exactly how much of an Oscar Night staple it would become,” Walters says.
For her final Oscar-themed “Barbara Walters Special,” Walters will interview nominees Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique, as well as presenting a retrospective of favorite interviews from past specials.
The decision to end the Oscar specials won’t impact Walters’ “The 10 Most Fascinating People” annual special, nor her daily gig on “The View.”
Walters’ final Oscar special will air on Sunday, March 7, immediately before ABC’s Academy Awards telecast on the East Coast and immediately afterwards on the West Coast.