|Now, "Family Guy" is officially "uncanceled," Fox's website says. On May 1, fresh episodes will begin airing on Fox. How will it do in the ratings the second time around? News Corp. executives say it doesn't matter much. This time, their business model is not built around ratings-driven advertising but relies instead on license fees from cable and sales of new DVDs and merchandise â€” including coffee table books, CDs, cellphone ring tones and games.|
The return of "Family Guy" illustrates the shifting dynamics of the TV industry. As the proliferation of digital video recorders such as TiVo Inc.'s device enables more people to watch TV when they wish, 30-second advertisements are losing some of their luster.
...Fox executives have ordered into production 35 new episodes of "Family Guy," even though the network has thus far committed to airing only 13.
"We're producing 35 no matter what," Newman said, noting that old episodes of "Family Guy" have also developed a following on cable's Cartoon Network. "Even if it doesn't work for the Fox network, the Cartoon Network wants them. By producing new episodes we will be able to keep this thing alive."
Cable channels Cartoon Network and TBS, both owned by Time Warner Inc., have dibs on the new episodes after their initial broadcast on Fox.
News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers unit on April 26 will release the book "Family Guy: Stewie's Guide to World Domination," which features such riffs as "Why teething is not for the faint of heart," and "Why women are such confounding and wicked creatures." The 20th Century Fox film studio plans a "Family Guy" movie on DVD by the end of the year.
Fox Music partnered with Geffen Records to produce a soon-to-be-released CD titled "Family Guy: Live in Las Vegas." MacFarlane describes it as "a blend of the rich, lush arrangements of the classic era of Rat Pack Vegas shows combined with the fart jokes of today."
On Friday, the "Family Guy" voice actors including MacFarlane, who does the voices of three characters, including Stewie, will stage two live performances at the Wiltern LG theater in Los Angeles. Late this month, they will do the same in New York.