Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2013: Seth MacFarlane boosts TV ratings

Seth MacFarlane hosting this year's Oscars
Image caption MacFarlane (inset) began his Oscars hosting stint by pre-empting his critics

This year's Oscars attracted a US TV audience of 40.3 million, a million more than tuned in to 2012's broadcast.

According to the ABC network, the show - hosted by Seth MacFarlane, creator of hit TV cartoon Family Guy - drew the largest Oscar audience for three years.

Last year's show, hosted by comic Billy Crystal, was seen by 39.3 million, while 2011's was seen by 37.6 million.

Argo won best picture at this year's event, while Daniel Day-Lewis was named best actor for a record third time.

According to statistics company Nielsen, MacFarlane's involvement helped boost interest among young men and the 18- to 49-year-old age group.

Figures for the latter demographic, which is much coveted by TV advertisers, were up 11% on last year, while the 18- to 34-year-old male audience saw a 34% increase.

Image caption Wallis was nominated for best actress but lost out to Jennifer Lawrence

Reaction to MacFarlane's performance has been mixed, with Rolling Stone saying he resembled a "bumbling rookie" in his first stab at Oscar host.

The New Yorker was no less scathing, saying that watching the three-and-a-half hour ceremony "meant sitting through a series of crudely sexist antics".

The 39-year-old fared better with fellow members of the Hollywood community, some of whom took to Twitter to voice their support.

According to Russell Crowe, he "did great" and "handled it all with grace", while former Oscar host Steve Martin said he had been "wonderful".

On his own Twitter feed, MacFarlane joked that his cat "said the show went well" but said there was "no way" he would host the ceremony again if organisers asked him to do so.

Meanwhile, satirical website The Onion also found itself under fire on Sunday after calling Quvenzhane Wallis, the nine-year-old star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, a "crude and offensive" name on Twitter.

Steve Hannah, the website's chief executive, apologised to the best actress nominee, saying that "no person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire".

It has also emerged that an Oscar-winning producer was briefly ejected from Sunday's star-studded ceremony for throwing paper airplanes around the auditorium.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, security staff at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre took issue with Kristina Reed for recreating the action of Paperman, this year's best animated short.

Life of Pi took home the most awards on Sunday, winning four prizes including a best director accolade for Taiwan's Ang Lee.

Argo and Les Miserables won three Oscars apiece, with Django Unchained, Lincoln and Bond movie Skyfall receiving two awards each.

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