Inside Oscar's Big Gamble on Seth MacFarlane
Yes, he's a big behind-the-scenes guy in Hollywood, but the Academy, convinced by an "SNL" gig, now has to prove he can play in Peoria -- and quickly.
Seth MacFarlane never has been to the Oscars -- not as a nominee, a presenter or even a plus one. Nonetheless, the crude comic voice behind Fox's Family Guy and Universal's summer hit Ted will be front and center at the 85th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 24. It's a risky choice for both the Academy and the show's producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The R-rated Ted has grossed $434 million worldwide, and because of his three TV shows, MacFarlane has built a loyal fan base of young males, attracting nearly 3 million Twitter followers (far more than 2012 host Billy Crystal's 235,000). But the Oscars on ABC are looking for the largest possible audience -- the most recent show attracted 39.3 million viewers -- and its audience traditionally tilts older and more female. To that crowd, MacFarlane, 38, is a relative unknown.
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