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'Family Guy' Creator Seth MacFarlane To Host 2013 Oscars

by Sandy Cohen - AP Entertainment Writer

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Oscar Host Seth MacFarlane

LOS ANGELES, California"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane says being invited to host the 2013 Academy Awards "was the greatest call that I could have gotten in show business." Oscar telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced that MacFarlane will host the 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony in February.

Meron called the 38-year-old entertainer "the most unbelievable, consummate host choice we could think of." Zadan said they have long admired MacFarlane's talent, "so the idea of actually doing the biggest thing that we've ever produced with him is just beyond belief. We're so excited."

This is the first Oscar production for Zadan and Meron, whose credits include 2002 best picture winner "Chicago" and the musical TV show "Smash." MacFarlane is best known for his envelope-pushing animated TV shows "Family Guy," ''American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show."

MacFarlane made his big-screen directorial debut earlier this year with the irreverent R-rated comedy "Ted," which took in more than $420 million at the box office. He also hosted the season opener of "Saturday Night Live" last month and released an album of big-band tunes from the 1940s and '50s last year.

This is his first time hosting the Academy Awards, which he called "an overwhelming privilege." So will this be an edgier ceremony than in years past? Zadan and Meron prefer to describe the approach as "fresh."

They'll draw on MacFarlane's skills as "a terrific writer and performer and singer and dancer," Zadan said. "We're going to utilize every one of them and see where we come out, but we hope to do something brand new and fresh based on the fact that we have a brand new and fresh host."

MacFarlane said his favorite Oscar hosts are the classics of yesteryear: Johnny Carson and Bob Hope. "There's a lot of questions about edging-up the show, but I am a big fan of the kind of old-fashioned showmanship that those hosts embodied," he said.

"I think that's really, in a perfect world, the balance that should be struck: Something that's fun and relevant and genuinely funny, but at the same time has a spine of good, old-fashioned showmanship, which is what the Oscars deserves."

He acknowledges it's a challenging task. "This is something very different than what I've done in the past, so the trick is going to be to stay honest to what it is that I do but also adapt to this particular show, because this is obviously a very special show with very specific requirements," he said. "We want to find a nice balance."

It's too soon to say if any writers or animated characters from MacFarlane's other shows will be involved with the Oscar telecast, but music will definitely play a part. "It would be criminal to have an Oscars without music," MacFarlane said. Producers said they'll present their ideas to their new host in the coming weeks and the team is "full speed ahead to create a show."

The 85th Annual Academy Awards will be presented February 24 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. Nominations will be announced Jan. 10 — nearly a week earlier than typically revealed and coming ahead of the Golden Globe Awards.

MacFarlane said being invited to host the Oscar show "was just an absolute thrill and I'm very much looking forward to it." He even posted a video on YouTube of him sharing the big news with his dad.

In the minute-long clip, MacFarlane says he's been asked to host the Oscars, and his dad responds by offering him some "barely used" bathing suits.

"I've invited you here today to tell you I'm hosting the Oscars," MacFarlane says. "This should be huge news to you." "Of course, it's wonderful news," his father replies. "But also the fact that you're getting almost brand-new bathing suits is also good news."

When MacFarlane seems unappreciative, dad snatches back the swimsuits and says, "I'm going to give these to Billy Crystal." Crystal hosted the last Oscar show. Other recent hosts include Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, James Franco and Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Jon Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres.

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85th Annual Academy Award Nominations

85th Annual Academy Award Nominations

85th Annual Academy Award Nominations

(winners will appear highlighted in red)

Best Picture

"Amour"

Producers: Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz

"Argo"

Producers: Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney

"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Producers: Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald

"Django Unchained"

Producers: Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone

"Les Misérables"

Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh

"Life of Pi"

Producers: Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark

"Lincoln"

Producers: Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy

"Silver Linings Playbook"

Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon

"Zero Dark Thirty"

Producers: Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison

Best Director

Film: "Amour"

Director: Michael Haneke

Film: "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Director: Benh Zeitlin

Film: "Life of Pi"

Director: Ang Lee

Film: "Lincoln"

Director: Steven Spielberg

Film: "Silver Linings Playbook"

Director: David O. Russell

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"

Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables"

Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"

Denzel Washington in "Flight"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"

Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"

Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin in "Argo"

Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"

Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"

Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams in "The Master"

Sally Field in "Lincoln"

Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables"

Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"

Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best Animated Feature Film

"Brave"

Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

"Frankenweenie"

Tim Burton

"ParaNorman"

Sam Fell and Chris Butler

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"

Peter Lord

"Wreck-It Ralph"

Rich Moore

Best Cinematography

"Anna Karenina"

Seamus McGarvey

"Django Unchained"

Robert Richardson

"Life of Pi"

Claudio Miranda

"Lincoln"

Janusz Kaminski

"Skyfall"

Roger Deakins

Best Costume Design

"Anna Karenina"

Jacqueline Durran

"Les Misérables"

Paco Delgado

"Lincoln"

Joanna Johnston

"Mirror Mirror"

Eiko Ishioka

"Snow White and the Huntsman"

Colleen Atwood

Best Documentary Feature

"5 Broken Cameras"

Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

"The Gatekeepers"

Dror Moreh, Philippa Kowarsky and Estelle Fialon

"How to Survive a Plague"

David France and Howard Gertler

"The Invisible War"

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering

"Searching for Sugar Man"

Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn

Best Documentary Short Subject

"Inocente"

Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine

"Kings Point"

Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider

"Mondays at Racine"

Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan

"Open Heart"

Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern

"Redemption"

Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill

Best Film Editing

"Argo"

William Goldenberg

"Life of Pi"

Tim Squyres

"Lincoln"

Michael Kahn

"Silver Linings Playbook"

Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers

"Zero Dark Thirty"

Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Best Foreign Language Film

"Amour"

Austria

"Kon-Tiki"

Norway

"No"

Chile

"A Royal Affair"

Denmark

"War Witch"

Canada

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

"Hitchcock"

Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane

"Les Misérables"

Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Best Original Score

"Anna Karenina"

Dario Marianelli

"Argo"

Alexandre Desplat

"Life of Pi"

Mychael Danna

"Lincoln"

John Williams

"Skyfall"

Thomas Newman

Best Original Song

"Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice"

Music and Lyrics by J. Ralph

"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted"

Music by Walter Murphy

Lyrics by Seth MacFarlane

"Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi"

Music by Mychael Danna

Lyrics by Bombay Jayashri

"Skyfall" from "Skyfall"

Music and Lyrics by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

"Suddenly" from "Les Misérables"

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg

Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Best Production Design

"Anna Karenina"

Production Design: Sarah Greenwood

Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Production Design: Dan Hennah

Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright

"Les Misérables"

Production Design: Eve Stewart

Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson

"Life of Pi"

Production Design: David Gropman

Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

"Lincoln"

Production Design: Rick Carter

Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Best Animated Short Film

"Adam and Dog"

Minkyu Lee

"Fresh Guacamole"

PES

"Head over Heels"

Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

"Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare""

David Silverman

"Paperman"

John Kahrs

Best Live Action Short Film

"Asad"

Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura

"Buzkashi Boys"

Sam French and Ariel Nasr

"Curfew"

Shawn Christensen

"Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)"

Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele

"Henry"

Yan England

Best Sound Editing

"Argo"

Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn

"Django Unchained"

Wylie Stateman

"Life of Pi"

Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton

"Skyfall" (tie)

Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers

"Zero Dark Thirty" (tie)

Paul N.J. Ottosson

Best Sound Mixing

"Argo"

John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia

"Les Misérables"

Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes

"Life of Pi"

Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin

"Lincoln"

Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins

"Skyfall"

Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Best Visual Effects

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White

"Life of Pi"

Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott

"Marvel's The Avengers"

Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick

"Prometheus"

Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill

"Snow White and the Huntsman"

Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Best Adapted Screenplay

"Argo"

Screenplay by Chris Terrio

"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin

"Life of Pi"

Screenplay by David Magee

"Lincoln"

Screenplay by Tony Kushner

"Silver Linings Playbook"

Screenplay by David O. Russell

Best Original Screenplay

"Amour"

Written by Michael Haneke

"Django Unchained"

Written by Quentin Tarantino

"Flight"

Written by John Gatins

"Moonrise Kingdom"

Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

"Zero Dark Thirty"

Written by Mark Boal

Governors Awards Recipients

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Jeffrey Katzenberg

Honorary Award

George Stevens, Jr.

Honorary Award

Hal Needham

Honorary Award

D.A Pennebaker

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