For the most part, TV critics hated February’s Academy Awards, in which MacFarlane delivered that for which he’s best known: cheap shots that leave young guys howling with laughter. Critics seemed to most hate his “We Saw Your Boobs” production number — though his crack about John Wilkes Booth being the only actor who really got inside President Lincoln’s head ran a close second.
MacFarlane is credited with boosting the Oscars’ audience, year to year, by 34 percent among 18- to 34-year-old guys — the bedazzled unicorns of the ad world. His audience was nearly 21 million viewers bigger than hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler got at this year’s Golden Globe Awards.
In Monday’s tweet, MacFarlane suggested that Joaquin Phoenix should host the next Oscars.
That’s a switch. MacFarlane has twice predicted Fey and Poehler would land the gig.
New NBC News chief
NBC on Monday officially named Brit news exec Deborah Turness as the first woman to run a network news division in the United States, ending weeks of speculation.
Turness has spent the past nine years heading ITV News, the UK’s most-watched commercial network news service. She’s replacing Steve Capus, who resigned from NBC News in February, ending his eight-year run in the gig and more than two decades with NBC News.
Turness, who officially joins NBC News in August, will get to address the problems, ratings-wise and PR-wise, that plague the division’s “Today” show.
New ‘X Factor’ judges
Former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland and Mexican singer/actress Paulina Rubio have joined Fox’s troubled singing competition “The X Factor” as judges/mentors, the network announced late Monday.
Rowland and Rubio are replacing L.A. Reid and Britney Spears. Brit was one of two judges signed last year in hopes of jump-starting the show’s ratings. That did not go so well and, after last season wrapped, both she and Reid announced that they had discovered they were too busy to return.
“X” also shed one of its two co-hosts, Khloe Kardashian, to try to stem the loss of audience. Host Mario Lopez survived.
Rowland is not new to the gig, having been a judge on the Brit version in 2011. The news was announced the night before “X” was scheduled to begin filming auditions in Charleston, S.C.
Rowland and Rubio join show creator Simon Cowell and the returning Demi Lovato on the mentor panel.
“It’s taken more than a decade, but I’m delighted to finally be on a panel with three girls (I think!),” Cowell said in Monday’s announcement.
CBS’s tornado decision
CBS yanked Monday night’s season-finale episode of its comedy series “Mike & Molly” because of the episode’s reference to a tornado hitting Chicago.
“Due to the tragic events this afternoon in Oklahoma, we are pre-empting tonight’s season finale of ‘Mike & Molly’, which has a related storyline,” a CBS spokesman said in a statement to the press.
Dozens were reported dead after severe weather hit Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois in recent days.
To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/