Sorry haters: Seth MacFarlane was a hit. If ratings are any indication, and sometimes they actually are, America loved the Oscars.
ABC has yet to formally announce, but early indications via the other networks suggest that the big show last night from 8 to 11, which would include some red carpet stuff, grew by 19 percent (among young adults) over the '12 awards hosted by Billy Crystal.
[In fact, ABC has just released formal figures and they're very good -total viewership is 40.3 million, which is up 3 percent over last year, but huge spikes in male viewers - specifically young guys, who arrived in big numbers - the show's ratings for this demographic group was up 34 percent over last year.]
Due in part to Seth MacFarlane -- whose shtick was relentlessly bad, except when he sang, and then it was horrible (Boobs song? Oh, fer chrissakes ... but he does have a great voice!) I would say: Yes. The curiosity factor had to be sky-high, especially among people who know what the score is with him.
But don't overlook the fact that there were some hugely popular films in the running for best picture, notably "Skyfall," and "Argo." Fans tune in to see their horse win, and the more fans of the film, the higher the telecast number.