- - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You might think Seth MacFarlane has a show-biz bucket list.

By now, he’s checked off ventures like his animated TV shows (led by “Family Guy”), his recording of show tunes, live performances at Carnegie Hall and this summer’s film comedy, “Ted,” which he directed, wrote and provided the title character’s voice for.

Now Mr. MacFarlane will serve as guest host this week for the season premiere of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Was this just the next gig on his to-do list?

“Not exactly,” Mr. MacFarlane said Tuesday in an Associated Press interview. “When things come up, I tackle them if they sound fun. That’s how I decide what to do and what not to do. It’s what sounds like it’s going to be a good time.”

But there’s another reason he was reporting to Studio 8H.

“They asked me,” he explained. “It’s the kind of thing you don’t say ‘no’ to if you’re in comedy.”

For a multimedia comedy impresario, Mr. MacFarlane might not seem ideally suited to “SNL,” where he is being treated warmly, but not in his customary role as the boss.

“It’s always a nice break to not be the guy in charge,” he insisted. And with his edition of “SNL” being polished off in just a week, the routine should prove a refreshing change, too. “It’s the complete antithesis of the nine months it takes us to do one episode of an animated series.”

While Mr. MacFarlane arrived Monday with a few sketch ideas, “this is a large writing staff that’s well-equipped to do what they do,” he pointed out. “I sat in on a pitch where writers threw out a bunch of one-line sketch ideas, and there were a lot of hilarious ones. There’s no shortage of fresh stuff.”

But along with comedy, will the silver-throated MacFarlane sing a song on the show?

“Possibly,” he said. “But it’s too soon to tell.”

As the series begins its 38th season on Saturday, Mr. MacFarlane will be sharing the bill with musical guest Frank Ocean.

Looking beyond Saturday, Mr. MacFarlane said future projects he’d like to do include another film and even maybe an on-camera acting role.

“We’ll see if this weekend is a disaster or not,” he hedged. “But I do like trying things I haven’t tried before. It kind of gets the blood going.”

‘How I Met Your Mother’ may get ninth season

Josh Radnor, star of “How I Met Your Mother,” said the CBS series could be renewed for a ninth season, which would be its last.

On Sept. 24, the ensemble comedy — which features Mr. Radnor as hopelessly romantic, perpetually unlucky-in-love architect Ted Mosby — launches season eight, coming into the second year of a two-season renewal.

At the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in July, CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler addressed the series’ recent ratings boost and subsequent chatter about an early renewal for a ninth installment.

“They know we want the show to come back next year, we’re having conversations right now,” Ms. Tassler told journalists. “We’re not there yet in terms of resolving the season, we’re in early conversations and we’re pretty optimistic.”

(Earlier this year, co-creators and show runners Carter Bays and Craig Thomas acknowledged that they’ve hatched a strategy to end “HIMYM,” with the mother of Ted’s children finally revealed, but said giving the series a fixed end date, “Lost”-style, wasn’t a high priority.)

Mr. Radnor was in New York City this week promoting his latest film, “Liberal Arts,” which he wrote and directed and also stars in alongside Elizabeth Olsen and Richard Jenkins.

Asked about a possible extension of “HIMYM,” Mr. Radnor told the Hollywood Reporter: “So many things have to drop into place for that to happen. They really need to figure it out because the writers need to know. They’re the pressing issue right now because they have to figure out if they’re wrapping up the show at the end of season eight or season nine. [We’ve] just very recently been approached about that and we really can’t say either way right now.”

As for the eighth season, Mr. Radnor said he didn’t know whether the main focus would be on Ted’s love life since the Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) situation has been resolved with the revelation that the two get married.

“We still have to show how Barney and Robin got to the altar, and Marshall and Lily have a kid, so there’s a lot going on in ‘How I Met Your Mother’-land,” he said.

Jason Sudeikis returning to ‘Saturday Night’ cast

Mitt Romney and Joseph R. Biden might be chagrined to hear it, but “Saturday Night Live” fans will be thrilled to hear that Jason Sudeikis will be back when the show returns on Saturday.

According to Entertainment Weekly, NBC has confirmed that the 36-year-old funnyman — who lampoons both politicians — has decided to return to the cast after a summer of silence on the matter.

When Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg announced their departures last spring, attention shifted to Mr. Sudeikis, whose contract was also up. In July, he hinted that he was leaning toward leaving, telling Men’s Journal, “It’s an amazing job and a horrible job. You really do serve the show. It’s just like playing in a community college. Everybody knows they’re not going to be there forever.”

With his return to “SNL,” Mr. Sudeikis will pair with Bill Hader as the two pillars of the show, guaranteeing that election season — which includes two prime-time specials — will include his presidential parodies.

But although Mr. Sudeikis is back, it remains to be seen exactly how long he will hang around. “Right now the idea is that Jason will go through at least until January,” Lorne Michaels told the New York Times. “[But] he’s a fiercely loyal guy, both to the show and to me.”

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