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Seth MacFarlane hosts the Oscars: Excited? Maybe.

Seth MacFarlane was an offbeat choice when he was announced as the host for the 2013 Oscars. He'll just need to reach out to people beyond his 'Family Guy' audience.

By Staff Writer / October 8, 2012

Seth MacFarlane will host the Oscars on Feb. 24, 2013.

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On Oct. 1, Academy Awards producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced that they’d found their host for the 2013 Oscars. Seth MacFarlane, creator of long-running animated show “Family Guy” and star of the summer movie hit “Ted,” will lead the ceremony on Feb. 24.

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I’m a huge MacFarlane fan – and yet, I said “Hmmm.”

It’s no secret that the Oscars have been trying to rejuvenate the show for the past – well, as many years as anyone’s been keeping track. In an age of audiences going to see what’s on cable rather than the broadcast networks and more independent films dominating at the Oscars, rather than box office hits TV viewers would be familiar with, the minds behind the Oscars have been trying to draw eyeballs with all sorts of tactics. Two years ago, it was the semi-disastrous pairing of Anne Hathaway and James Franco as hosts, who seemed to have the appeal of a younger demographic beforehand, but never really found their comfort zone during the ceremony.

It’s a hard game for the Oscar producers to win. When they tried for the new with Hathaway and Franco, the reviews were negative. When they went for the classic last year and chose multiple-time Oscar host Billy Crystal, some said the choice was too expected and the ceremony needed something new.

So now they have MacFarlane, who strikes a tone in his movies and on his TV shows that’s a little different than that which you might identify with the Oscars. I’m an avid “Family Guy” watcher, but even I don’t like the scene in one episode where three characters vomit for two straight minutes.

Of course, Ricky Gervais, creator of the British version of “The Office,” made viewers sit up and pay attention when he hosted the Golden Globes for the first time in 2010. Awards show hosts will typically gently poke fun at some celebrities in attendance, and the camera will cut to the star in question laughing good-naturedly. Gervais went a little more for the throat. “I like a drink as much as the next man,” he commented at one point. “Unless the next man is Mel Gibson.” When he returned in 2011, he took aim at a movie starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. “It was a big year for 3-D movies,” he noted. “It seems like everything this year was three-dimensional. Except the characters in ‘The Tourist.”

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