Family Guy's return announced

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Brian Cruz, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. Brian Cruz

    Brian Cruz Agent

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    Press release:

    FAMILY GUY RETURNS TO PRODUCTION WITH AN INITIAL ORDER OF 22 NEW EPISODES TO PREMIERE IN EARLY 2005

    Emmy Award-winning animated comedy series confirmed to run on Cartoon Network; FOX Broadcasting Company retains broadcast window

    In an unprecedented move, 20th Century Fox Television has committed to producing a minimum of 22 new half-hour episodes of Seth MacFarlane's Emmy Award-winning animated comedy series FAMILY GUY more than two years after the series aired its last original episode. The move comes on the heels of the series' elevation to pop culture phenomenon, particularly among the traditionally hard-to-reach young adult demographic, as demonstrated by its enormous success on DVD and on the Cartoon Network. In 2003, FAMILY GUY was the #1 selling TV property on DVD. On Cartoon Network, FAMILY GUY ranks #1 in its time period on cable among Adults and Men 18-34 and Adults and Men 18-24, and also beats both The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in head-to-head competition among Men 18-34 and Men 18-24.

    The new episodes will be available in early 2005 to be shown on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's late night block of animated programming for adults on which FAMILY GUY currently ranks as the #1 show. The Fox Broadcasting Company has an option to license the original runs of those new episodes.

    Seth MacFarlane, creator and executive producer of FAMILY GUY and two-time Emmy Award winner for his work on the series, and producer Kara Vallow are currently assembling the writing and production staff for the new episodes.

    "This is incredibly exciting for everyone at Fox," enthused 20th Century Fox TV President Gary Newman. "The overwhelming response to Family Guy this past year is a real tribute to Seth's vision and talent and it's been really gratifying to all the executives who never stopped championing him and the show. The fact that after all this time we were able figure out a way to get back into production is a testament both to Seth's passion for keeping it alive and some really great teamwork among the executives at our studio and home entertainment and syndication divisions and those at Turner and the Cartoon Network. We're thrilled for Seth, we're thrilled for his fans, and to be honest we're thrilled for our teenage kids who threatened to emancipate themselves if we didn't figure out a way to bring the show back."

    Commented Seth MacFarlane, "I'm just incredibly excited that we're back in business on Family Guy. Now all those crazy kids who've been hounding me to bring the show back can stop bothering me and move onto more serious matters – like saving 'Coupling.' "

    FAMILY GUY chronicles the lives of the Griffin family, a tight-knit but tense nuclear family living in Quahog, Rhode Island. Peter, the loving but not-overly-ambitious patriarch, and Lois, his devoted wife, maintain a comfortable middle class home. Teen queen Meg, slacker Chris and homicidal infant Stewie round out the Griffin brood, but the most sensible and well-spoken member of the clan is the family dog, Brian. FAMILY GUY had its series preview on FOX on January 31, 1999 following the Super Bowl and its series premiere on April 11, 1999. It earned an Emmy Award in 2000 for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (Seth MacFarlane) and an Emmy Award in 2002 for Outstanding Music & Lyrics (Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane) and was nominated for Outstanding Animated Series in 2000. The final original episode aired February 14, 2002. FAMILY GUY joined Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on Sunday, April 20, 2003 and immediately became the block's top-rated programming, dominating late night viewing in its time period vs. cable and broadcast competition.

    FAMILY GUY chronicles the lives of the Griffin family, a tight-knit but tense nuclear family living in Quahog, Rhode Island. Peter, the loving but not-overly-ambitious patriarch, and Lois, his devoted wife, maintain a comfortable middle class home. Teen queen Meg, slacker Chris and homicidal infant Stewie round out the Griffin brood, but the most sensible and well-spoken member of the clan is the family dog, Brian. FAMILY GUY had its series preview on FOX on January 31, 1999 following the Super Bowl and its series premiere on April 11, 1999. It earned an Emmy Award in 2000 for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (Seth MacFarlane) and an Emmy Award in 2002 for Outstanding Music & Lyrics (Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane) and was nominated for Outstanding Animated Series in 2000. The final original episode aired February 14, 2002. FAMILY GUY joined Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on Sunday, April 20, 2003 and immediately became the block's top-rated programming, dominating late night viewing in its time period vs. cable and broadcast competition.

    "Bringing Family Guy to the Adult Swim lineup last April really helped turn the block into a cultural phenomenon with young adults," said Jim Samples, Cartoon Network executive vice president and general manager. "Now, as the destination for new episodes of what has become the block's most popular series, Family Guy will help boost Adult Swim to the next level in terms of buzz and ratings. We could not be more excited to have Seth and 20th Century Fox Television on board as Adult Swim continues its growth as the best place on TV for young adults."

    Adult Swim launched in September 2001, airing programming two nights a week. In January 2003, Adult Swim expanded to five nights per week, currently airing Sunday-Thursday from 11 p.m-5 a.m. (ET, PT). Adult Swim features quirky original comedies including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021 and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law; popular favorites Futurama and Family Guy, and action/adventure hits like InuYasha, The Big O, and Cowboy Bebop.

    Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

    20th Century Fox Television, a division of News Corp, is a leading supplier of entertainment programming domestically and around the world.
     
  2. Phil_L

    Phil_L Second Unit

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    Sooooooooooo excited about this!!!!
     
  3. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    While I have very mixed feelings about Family Guy, I think the return of the show is a fascinating phenomenon. Here we have a show that bombed on Fox several times (it wasn't screwed over by the network; they renewed it several times and kept showing it even though the ratings mostly stunk -- that's why they moved it from slot to slot, because the ratings kept stinking), but has become a gigantic success on DVD and cable because of its success with a relatively small but influential (and DVD-buying) segment of the audience.

    Normally, you can't make back your money on a big-budget show like this by selling it to cable. Cartoon Network has previously wanted to pick up shows dropped by networks, but couldn't afford to (they considered doing new episodes of one of my favorites, Freakazoid, but the budget was just too much). But now, because of DVD, Fox's production department can essentially be guaranteed of recouping the costs between cable and DVD (though they still have to cut the budget to make this work). Then they can make their big money by selling it to syndication. It's a good strategy but it probably couldn't work for another show. (In part because FG, thanks to the surprise renewals Fox gave it, already has 50 episodes; so they'll have enough episodes for syndication if they just do two more seasons. With a show that got cancelled after 22 episodes, there wouldn't be the same kind of guarantee of getting to syndication soon.) It would be great if this meant that other shows could be revived based on DVD sales, but unless TV-on-DVD becomes even bigger than it is (it's still kind of a niche market itself), probably not.

    As to whether the Fox network will pick up the new episodes... well, the show is better-known now but I don't know that it's that well-known outside of its core audience. If I were Fox I'd think I'd given it enough chances. But then again, Fox is so starved for programming right now that even FG's niche appeal might look good to them. I still think that despite the DVD and cable success, its success on network TV is still more unlikely than otherwise. One kind of success doesn't translate into another (and vice versa; we can all think of successful network shows that bomb on DVD).
     
  4. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I can't wait to start seeing new episodes on Adult Swim, it should be fun.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Exciting news. Hopefully the relaunch can stay as topical and yet blissfully off-topic as the original run. I'll be watching.
     
  6. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I hope they are able to get all the cast back from the first run...
     
  7. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    I'm glad it is official, hopefully it will do well enough in syndication that they will have a healthy life from now on.

    And it is spelt Patrick Warburton.
     
  8. Jon Mahoney

    Jon Mahoney Stunt Coordinator

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    Jaime,

    I know many, many people who loved Family Guy when it was on FOX, but always missed it because no one knew what it was going to be on etc. If they had just left this in the time slot after The Simpsons on Sunday's then this show would never have gone off the air. But that's just my opinion.
     
  9. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    It is too bad this isn't an announcement that new Futurama episodes will be made...

    Sorry, while I'm happy for the fans of the show, Family Guy never did anything for me, and that has been reenforced from watching the episodes on CN. Just not very funny to me.

    Jason
     
  10. Michael St. Clair

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    With all the additional censorship these days on broadcast (see 'Game Over'), I'm hoping the new eps are straight-to-cable.
     
  11. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I'm excited too about the comeback, but I'm afariad the FCC might interfear.

    Look at all the stuff they got away with before.
    Now, we might see a tamer Quagmire, which would really suck.
     
  12. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    Nothing FG did would get it in trouble with the FCC (there was never any explicitly "obscene" language or nudity; just indirect implications of such -- Quagmire's jokes are like Dan Fielding's on Night Court). As a practical matter fear of losing advertising revenue still influences network censorship much more than FCC guidelines, but since FG's cable/DVD success depends partly on its bawdy jokes I doubt you'll see anyone changing that.
     
  13. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Doubtful, since the release says that it will air late at night on cable as part of adult swim. If it were on in primetime on a network, sure but not on cartoon network at 10 or 10:30 at night.
     
  14. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    To add to what Casey posted, if South Park is still on CC, then Family Guy has no worries.
     
  15. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Not only do we get new Family Guy episodes, we also get a line of action figures this Sept.
     

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