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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Family Guy Bids Adieu to…

Written by Jon Williams

Normally we’re not in the habit of discussing major plot points like character deaths in ongoing television shows—partially because we’d hate to give away spoilers, and partially because we’d have to dedicate this space to Game of Thrones on a regular basis. However, if you’ve been on the Internet at all this week, it’s been impossible to avoid the news that the animated series Family Guy has killed off one of its most beloved original characters: the Griffin family’s intelligent talking dog, Brian.

Brian was voiced by the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane voices several characters in the show, but Brian spoke with his actual speaking voice. The show debuted on Fox after the Super Bowl in 1999 and originally ran for three seasons before being cancelled by the network. However, a number of factors, including strong DVD sales and high ratings for reruns, led to the show being brought back for a fourth season in 2005. The show has been in production ever since and is currently in its twelfth season.

Family Guy has turned into quite a success in its own right, but it also served as a launching pad for the career of the multitalented MacFarlane. He has developed further animated shows with American Dad! and The Cleveland Show (a Family Guy spinoff which has recently been cancelled after four seasons). He currently serves as executive producer for the live-action sitcom Dads (starring Family Guy voice actor Seth Green), which is in its first season, and is co-producing an update of Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking 1980 science/astronomy series Cosmos. He has also made the jump from the small screen to the big screen, writing, directing, and starring (via voice, of course) in the comedy Ted, about a boy who wishes his teddy bear to life and grows into adulthood with the bear as his best friend. He is also an accomplished singer, and provided an opening number for another animated hit, the Futurama movie Into the Wild Green Yonder.

Still, even with all these other projects, MacFarlane is still most closely associated with Family Guy, which now must go forward without Brian Griffin. While this may not quite rank with the death of Colonel Blake on M*A*S*H, it still has some longtime fans up in arms. Hopes are high that the series will find a way to bring him back at some point, but only time will tell.

SmartBrowse Family Guy on our homepage for the complete collection of episodes on DVD (plus the hilarious Star Wars spoofs), and SmartBrowse Seth MacFarlane for a wide variety of titles from this multifaceted entertainer.

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