Although ratings for the 2013 Oscars telecast on ABC were up by just two percent year-over-year, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane was, to many, the catalyst for the most successful Oscars telecast since 2010. The 39-year-old personality, who also directed the recent comedy hit Ted, hosted the 2013 Oscars and proved to be a big hit with viewers, primarily those between the ages of 18 and 49.
The decision to have MacFarlane host the Oscars was part of officials’ efforts to make the annual Academy Awards more presentable to the younger demographic. And it appears to have been a wise decision on the Academy’s part; ratings increased 11 percent year-over-year among viewers ranging from 18 to 49 years of age. This demographic is considered the most important and lucrative one for advertisers and entertainment executives.
However, MacFarlane’s showing as 2013 Oscars host was not unanimously loved by movie and television critics. While he did entertain a lot of viewers with his controversial sense of humor and a hilarious song referencing nominees who had never won an Oscar award to date, some weren’t as pleased with his presence as host. USA Today, for instance, described MacFarlane’s hosting job as “awash in self-indulgence.” The length of the show was another bone of contention for reviewers; at 3 hours and 35 minutes, Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times said that the 2013 Oscars in general “defined new standards in dullness.”
The list of Oscar winners this year was led off by Argo, which won Best Picture, and Best Actor and Best Actress awardees Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook).