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Oscar ratings: More young adults tuned in

February 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Oscar host Seth MacFarlane took viewers in all directions: sometimes edgy, sometimes surprising and sometimes sentimental. When it came to those all-important ratings, the direction he took the show was north.

Overall, Oscar viewership is up from last year's 39.3 million people. The 85th ceremony had a million more viewers than last year.

But in the key young adult audience, the bulk of Seth MacFarlane's fans, early estimates suggest a 20 percent climb in those numbers - the highest 18-to-34 age audience in six years.

Get the full list of 2013 Oscar winners

"This is probably the most widely seen group of best picture nominees we've had in some time, so I think, in general, that's always going to drive up interest because it means it's more likely for fans to have a rooting interest in some of the nominees," said Jon Weisman, Variety awards editor.

Critics had mixed reactions to MacFarlane, which is usually the case with whoever hosts the show, but those involved with the show and stars at the show gave him high marks.

"He's not like a Ricky Gervais who's kind of caustic. He's adorable," said producer Craig Zadan. "The thing is that we find him so sweet and even when he's being a little bad boy, he's adorable, so we think that he's accessible to a large audience."

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt said he thought MacFarlane was fantastic.

"He just set it up just right. You had his irreverent humor, and on the other hand, you had the really classy stuff. And it's not easy to pull both of those things off, but I think he really did."

"Argo" was named best picture, and it was announced via satellite from the White House by first lady Michelle Obama, with thanks to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

"He called her personally and convinced her to do it, so if it wasn't for Harvey, we would not have had the first lady," Zadan said.

Hollywood Boulevard is currently in the process of returning to normal. The dismantling and the cleanup will be done in time for the street to reopen by 6 a.m. Tuesday.

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