Tag Archives: Seth MacFarlane

Seth Watch Has Begun for Academy, ABC; No More DWTS All Stars

Talk about raising interest in your Oscar hosting gig! Seth MacFarlane certainly did just that with his nominations announcement performance last week, didn’t he? In case anyone missed it, MacFarlane issued such gems as a Hitler joke tied in to the Austria-Germany collaboration, “Amour” and a comment that directors sit and watch other people make movies. And he earned a fierce collection of responses. For instance, an Entertainment Weekly headline asked “Seth MacFarlane, Oscar nomination presenter: Smug and condescending?” while Slate observed that he “managed to botch his Oscar-hosting gig in record time.”

Even as that was happening, ABC chieftain Paul Lee was explaining to press as the Television Critics Association conclave in Pasadena why he is “really bullish”about MacFarlane’s upcoming Oscar emcee stint.

“I am a huge Seth fan. I think what Seth brings — first of all, is a sense of joy,” he declared. MacFarlane, who is himself nominated for Best Song honors for“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted,”really “wants to be there,” he went on. One would hope!

“And he also has this fantastic combination of — he’s one of the funniest writers in the world, but if you watch ‘Family Guy,’ I mean, who would have expected, you know, ‘Family Guy’ would be the heart of show and dance and variety? He loves the show, and I think he’s going to bring a lot of that energy to it. He’s coming to the Oscars, you know, with a great sense of respect, but I think he’s going to bring us a really contemporary feel.

“Look, you don’t know. You don’t know until he comes out there, but I’m sensing he’s going to have a lot of fun out there, and I think, with the movies that are there, I think — I’m sensing that we are going to have a good Oscars. I may be proven wrong, but I’m feeling good about it and particularly good about him.”

That remains to be seen, but Oscar winners (“Chicago”) and musical producers extraordinaire Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are certainly a dream team, particularly in a year when “Les Miserables” is in the mix. As Lee acknowledged, “They love show and tell. They love variety. And so I think you are going to see a very entertaining Oscars. I think Seth is going to be right at the heart of that.”

ALSO: Lee talked about the future of “Dancing With the Stars” and the fact that the recent all-stars season was a ratings disappointment. “It turns out people want to see bad dancing as much as good dancing,” he said, adding that the show will be cast in its regular way next time around. He does still expect to air “DWTS” twice a year. It’s still a big, broad crowd pleaser, he noted. “Sixteen million viewers. That’s still a lot of viewers.” He believes that with the right casting, younger viewers can be enticed back to the show. Seth MacFarlane, maybe?

SORRY TO SAY GOODBYE: The death of beloved California TV personality Huell Howser at age 67 last week has truly saddened a lot of folks around these parts, who’ll miss the perpetual unbridled enthusiasm he brought to his California travelogue shows. Among them, no doubt: Barbra Streisand and James Brolin. Brolin admitted to us a few years ago that he and his wife just loved to settle down and watch Huell doing his thing, taking viewers on excursions from Death Valley to Eureka, meeting assorted colorful sorts along the way. And Brolin had developed a spot-on perfect impression of the Tennessee-born Huell, which he demonstrated for us: “You have a tree here, and another tree there! Why, you’ve almost got a forest!!” Howser is being memorialized today (1/15) at L.A.’s Griffith Park Observatory.

Will Celeb-Driven ‘Out of Character With Krista Smith’ Become a Late-Nite Regular?

Will “Out of Character with Krista Smith” become a regular late-night offering on the USA Network? Smith, a.k.a.


Vanity Fair’s West Coast editor, insists she isn’t thinking beyond the tonight’s (Jan. 11) premiere of her special with Gwyneth Paltrow, Seth MacFarlane and fashion designer Jason Wu. “I just hope people watch it and like it,” says the personable Smith, who has whetted her on-camera interviewing chops on ABC’s Oscar pre-show, as well as VF’s website. “I love doing it, being live in the moment. I talk. That’s what I do,” she adds.

She does acknowledge that network chieftains Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel have made it clear they’re interested in opening up that 11 p.m. slot. But whether it will be with an interview show, a comedy or something different remains to be seen.

“Out of Character” attempts a bit of a different approach by getting its subjects out of the studio and into environments where they’re theoretically more themselves. MacFarlane is at his house. Paltrow is cooking in Smith’s own home kitchen. “I didn’t change a thing in my kitchen. I cleaned it up, that’s all. I was really nervous because I’m not that comfortable cooking, and she was showing me how to make a meal for my kids. And by the way, my kitchen is small.”

Wu, who is best known for designing Michelle Obama’s inauguration dress, gave Smith a tour of his design facilities. “He was so great, really interesting. His mother moved him out of Taipei when she realized he was different and would not be allowed to be who he was. She supported and nurtured his gifts … I’ve been a journalist for a long time, and he just has a great story.”