After Denials, Will Seth MacFarlane Host the Oscars in 2014?

Mark Deming
Movie Talk
Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane

Maybe Seth MacFarlane never got the memo about the old saying "Never say never."

Last February, after hosting the Academy Awards telecast, "Family Guy" creator MacFarlane announced he would not do the show again, responding to a question on Twitter with the reply, "No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though." But sources on the blogosphere are reporting that MacFarlane has been invited to host the Oscars again in 2014, and he's giving the matter some serious thought.

[Related: Seth MacFarlane's Oscars under fire from all sides]

Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who produced the 2013 Oscar telecast, have been confirmed to be returning for next year's show, which scored higher ratings than in previous years, with an impressive 34% spike in male viewers from 18 to 34 over the 2012 telecast. Not wanting to mess with success, Meron and Zadan have reportedly asked MacFarlane to return, and according to posts on the blog Just Jared, so far he hasn't taken himself out of consideration.

MacFarlane's stint as Oscar host did well in the ratings, but generated more than his share of bad press. Many viewers and critics were offended by his jokes about domestic violence, Jews in show business, the possible future love life of nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, and especially MacFarlane's song "We Saw Your Boobs" (especially when it was pointed out that some of the nudity cited in the tune involved scenes of rape).

However, Hawk Koch, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars, cited a need for continuity in the world's biggest awards show, which hasn't had the same host two years in a row since Billy Crystal took the podium in 1996 and 1997.

"We believe that continuity is the most important thing," Koch said. "One of the problems we have every year is that you always have a new producer and a new host — there's so much learning. It's so much better when you have continuity."

[Related: Seth MacFarlane stumbles out of the Oscar gate, show struggles]

Having MacFarlane back would doubtless be good for ratings and make AMPAS happy. But while MacFarlane is said to be mulling it over, the big question is if he has the time. The Oscar assignment keeps the prospective host on call for four months, and MacFarlane has a very busy schedule. In addition to writing, producing and voicing "Family Guy" and "American Dad" (no one is sure if "The Cleveland Show" will be around next year), MacFarlane's second live-action feature, "A Million Ways To Die In The West," is in the works, as well as a sequel to "Ted." And MacFarlane is also producing a reboot of Carl Sagan's science series "Cosmos."

So it looks like "No way" could actually mean "Maybe … if I can find the time." Since Meron and Zadan are said to need an answer soon, we'll probably find out if MacFarlane is back within the next few weeks.

Watch Seth MacFarlane's Most Offensive Oscar Jokes: