Seth MacFarlane will host this years Academy Awards. This is clearly another attempt at grabbing younger viewers. As we all remember the last attempt to woo younger audience with Anne Hathaway and James Franco did not turn out so good. Old reliable Billy Crystal filled in last year to mixed reviews. MacFarlane’s TED grossed close to $420 million thanks to mostly young men. He recently hosted Saturday Night Live and was pretty comfortable as a host. He is often the host for the popular Comedy Central Roasts. MacFarlane said “It’s truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars. My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don’t find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen roast.”
The question is will Seth MacFarlane be able to bring in a younger audience? I think that it depends more on the nominated movies than the host. The median age of the Academy Awards viewers is 51. In 1997 it was 41. Which happened to be the year that TITANIC won Best Picture. TITANIC was very popular with young females and young people want to see their favorites get nominated. A silent black and white film winning Best Picture is not going to do that. Another part of the problem is that the Academy voters mostly consist of old white men who like to vote for their old white friends. So in the coming years as the AMPAS votes in a more diverse group we will see more of a variety of films on Oscar night. Maybe even a comedy?