Oscars see a viewing figure boost for Seth MacFarlane's 'controversial' hosting
Across the United States, around 40 million viewers tuned in to watch the Seth MacFarlane hosted Academy Awards show, viewing figures have confirmed.
It amounted to the best ratings in three years, but the last decade and a half has still struggled to stop the decline - by point of reference, 1998's show that saw 'Titanic' scoop 11 awards was watched by 57.25 million.
First time host (and 'Family Guy' creator) MacFarlane has received mixed reviews from critics, with some slamming his off-colour jokes about female nudity (a song called 'We Saw Your Boobs' was one of the show's openers) and Jews in Hollywood while others praised his "edgy" style that saw a 20% boost among viewers aged between 18 and 34 - a key audience.
MacFarlane's presence is also seen as appealing the male demographic, who were up 18% in what is usually seen as a more female-friendly show.
But his antics were not without their controversy, with US Jewish group the Anti-Defamation League taking issue with a skit in which MacFarlane's film creation Ted urges Mark Wahlberg to act Jewish "if you want to work in this town".
National director Abraham Foxman said: "It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimise antisemitism. It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars awards show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs."
While no official viewing figures have been made available for international audiences, it's estimated that up to a billion people watched at least some of the gala across the 200 countries that broadcast it.
The ceremy saw 'Argo' crowned Best Picture, with 'Life of Pi' director Ang Lee walking off with Best Director while Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence took the leading acting awards for 'Lincoln' and 'Silver Linings Playbook'.
Other film news
It was a ceremony of ties at the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards as both 'Gravity' and 'Her' shared the Best Picture prizes and James Franco and Jared Leto tied for Best Supporting Actor for their performances in 'Spring Breakers' and 'Dallas Buyers Club', while Cate Blanchett and AdÃ¨le Exarchopoulos also split the award for Best Actress for 'Blue Jasmine' and 'Blue is the Warmest Colour'.
Steve McQueen's historical drama '12 Years A Slave' has been named Best Picture at the New York Online Critics Awards.
Another dark horse has levelled the awards season playing field: Spike Jonze's 'Her' has bagged Best Film and Best Director at the National Board of Review.
The awards season is only just heating up and it's already had its first curveball thrown into the mix: David O Russell's 'American Hustle' took the top prize at the New York Film Critics Circle.
Pop star Rita Ora has joined the cast of upcoming erotic drama 'Fifty Shades of Grey', it has been confirmed.
'Fast & Furious' star Paul Walker's road traffic death shocked the entertainment world recently with numerous rumours being reported, but now investigators have stated that they are not looking for a second car.
Quentin Tarantino has put the rumours to rest concerning his hugely anticipated next project by confirming that it will be another western but not a sequel to his last effort, the Oscar winning 'Django Unchained'.
48-year-old tough guy footballer-turned-film star Vinnie Jones is in treatment for skin cancer.
Tough guy actor Jason Statham has made it known that he thinks that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines the Oscars, should recognize stunt actors with their own Oscar category.
'Clueless' actress Brittany Murphy died young in 2009 aged just 32. The Los Angeles County Coroner said at the time it was due to pneumonia but now fresh revelations suggest that the starlet was poisoned.
Oscar nominee Don Cheadle is making a few of his wishes come true: he will direct his first film and star as one of his greatest inspirations, jazz musician Miles Davis, in a forthcoming screen biopic.
Famous screen and music siblings Mark and Donnie Wahlberg are headed to reality TV: A&E network in the States has signed the duo for new show 'Wahlburgers'.
'Starred Up', a prison drama starring Jack O'Connell is leading the way in this year's BIFA nominations with eight nominations.
In a rare move for a franchise of this scale, Disney will hold open casting auditions in the UK for two lead roles in 'Star Wars: Episode VII'.
Harry Potter himself, star Daniel Radcliffe, has joined the cast of Olympic rivalry drama 'Gold'.
Jamie Dornan, the northern Irish former Calvin Klein model turned actor, has been cast as Christian Grey in the forthcoming 'Fifty Shades of Grey'.
Famed for his tough guy roles in the likes of 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Bronson' and 'Lawless', Tom Hardy is taking his career in a new direction: he's just been confirmed to play Elton John in Rocket Picturesâ 'Rocketman'.
Here's some groovy news for 'Evil Dead' fans: Bruce Campbell has confirmed that he will reprise his cult role as Ash for an 'Army of Darkness' sequel.
'Crocodile Dundee' stars Paul and Linda Hogan (no relation to Hulk) are calling it a day after 23 years of marriage.
With the Amanda Knox trial back in the headlines, it's the perfect time for the producers of a forthcoming film to make some high profile headlines of their own. The latest is that Kate Beckinsale has joined the cast.