Family Guy
Created bySeth MacFarlane
Original workThe Life of Larry and Larry & Steve
Owner20th Television Animation
Years1999–present
Films and television
Film(s)Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2005)
Untitled Family Guy film (TBA)[1]
Animated seriesFamily Guy (1999–present)
The Cleveland Show (2009–2013)
Games
Video game(s)
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Family Guy is an American animated comedy franchise created by Seth MacFarlane and originally developed for Fox. Consisting of two television series: Family Guy (1999–present) and The Cleveland Show (2009–2013), the franchise primarily focuses on the Griffin family (Peter, Lois, Meg, Chris, Stewie, and Brian) and their friends and associates. The franchise also shares a fictional universe with American Dad! (2005–present), another series developed by MacFarlane with the same art style, to which it features numerous crossovers and shared characters.

Television series

Family Guy (1999–present)

Main article: Family Guy

Family Guy is an American animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for Fox. The series centers on the Griffins, a family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children, Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog, Brian. The show is set in the fictional city of Quahog that is located in Rhode Island (a place that actually exists), and exhibits much of its humor in the form of metafictional cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture.

The family was conceived by MacFarlane after developing two animated films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. MacFarlane redesigned the films' protagonist, Larry, and his dog, Steve, and renamed them Peter and Brian, respectively. MacFarlane pitched a seven-minute pilot to Fox in 1998, and the show was greenlit and began production. Shortly after the third season of Family Guy had aired in 2002, Fox canceled the series with one episode left unaired. Adult Swim aired that episode in 2003, finishing the series' original run. However, favorable DVD sales and high ratings for syndicated reruns on Adult Swim convinced the network to renew the show in 2004 for a fourth season, which began airing on May 1, 2005.

The Cleveland Show (2009–2013)

Main article: The Cleveland Show

MacFarlane co-created—alongside Mike Henry and Richard Appel—the Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show, which premiered September 27, 2009. They began discussing the project in 2007.[2][3] Appel and Henry served as the show's executive producers and showrunners, handling the day-to-day operations, with limited involvement from MacFarlane.[4] Henry and Appel conceived the show as "more of a family show, a sweeter show" than Family Guy.[5] The first season consisted of 22 episodes,[6] and the show was picked up by Fox for a second season, which consisted of 13 episodes. The announcement was made on May 3, 2009, before the first season began.[7] It was extended to a full second season.[8] Appel signed a new three-year, seven-figure deal with Fox to continue serving as showrunner on The Cleveland Show in 2010. Fox chairman Gary Newman commented: "What is special about him is his incredible leadership ability."[9] The show follows the Family Guy character Cleveland Brown, who is voiced by Henry, as he leaves the town of Quahog and moves with his son to start his own adventure.[2]

Fox canceled The Cleveland Show on May 13, 2013, roughly a week before the May 19 conclusion of its fourth season.[10] On July 16, 2013, MacFarlane confirmed an upcoming twelfth season episode of Family Guy centering on Cleveland's return to Quahog.[11]

Crossovers with other shows

An event known as "Night of the Hurricane" depicts a hurricane hitting the hometowns of MacFarlane's sitcoms Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, culminating in a stand-off among the three fathers of each family.

The Griffin family also cameo appeared in not just both The Cleveland Show and American Dad!, but also in The Simpsons, Futurama, South Park, Robot Chicken, Drawn Together, Animals, Bordertown, Bones, MadTV, and Mad. A two-parter South Park episode, "Cartoon Wars Parts I and II" which mocked Family Guy also features the Griffin family. A more live-action/animated episode of Bones, "The Critic in the Cabernet," crosses over with fellow Family Guy character Stewie Griffin (reprised by MacFarlane himself) as the episode's main antagonist. In 2018, Alex Borstein reprised her role as Lois Griffin in an episode of Animals.

The Simpsons Guy (2014)

Main article: The Simpsons Guy

In July 2013, it was announced that a special episode of Family Guy featuring an official crossover with The Simpsons would premiere in 2014. At San Diego Comic Con a 5-minute preview was shown. The one-hour episode, titled "The Simpsons Guy" and consisting of the first and second episode of the thirteenth season of Family Guy, was aired September 28, 2014.[12] In the episode, the Griffins are forced out of Quahog due to Peter offending women with a newspaper comic strip he created. On the road, their car gets stolen, leaving them stranded in the town of Springfield where they meet and befriend the Simpson family,[13] only for their friendship to turn sour when Pawtucket Patriot Ale is revealed to be a rip-off of Duff. Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Hank Azaria guest star as their The Simpsons characters.[14] The episode also includes cameo appearances by Bob Belcher from Bob's Burgers[15] Fred Flintstone from The Flintstones[16] and Roger from American Dad!.

SeriesSeasonEpisodesOriginally airedShowrunner(s)Status
First airedLast aired
Main series
Family Guy17January 31, 1999 (1999-01-31)May 16, 1999 (1999-05-16)Seth MacFarlane and David ZuckermanReleased
221September 23, 1999 (1999-09-23)August 1, 2000 (2000-08-01)
322July 11, 2001 (2001-07-11)November 9, 2003 (2003-11-09)
430May 1, 2005 (2005-05-01)May 21, 2006 (2006-05-21)David A. Goodman and Chris Sheridan
518September 10, 2006 (2006-09-10)May 20, 2007 (2007-05-20)
612September 23, 2007 (2007-09-23)May 4, 2008 (2008-05-04)
716September 28, 2008 (2008-09-28)May 17, 2009 (2009-05-17)
821September 27, 2009 (2009-09-27)June 20, 2010 (2010-06-20)Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan
918September 26, 2010 (2010-09-26)May 22, 2011 (2011-05-22)
1023September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25)May 20, 2012 (2012-05-20)
1122September 30, 2012 (2012-09-30)May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19)Steve Callaghan and Richard Appel
1221September 29, 2013 (2013-09-29)May 18, 2014 (2014-05-18)
1318September 28, 2014 (2014-09-28)May 17, 2015 (2015-05-17)
1420September 27, 2015 (2015-09-27)May 22, 2016 (2016-05-22)
1520September 25, 2016 (2016-09-25)May 21, 2017 (2017-05-21)
1620October 1, 2017 (2017-10-01)May 20, 2018 (2018-05-20)Richard Appel and Alec Sulkin
1720September 30, 2018 (2018-09-30)May 12, 2019 (2019-05-12)
1820September 29, 2019 (2019-09-29)May 17, 2020 (2020-05-17)
1920September 27, 2020 (2020-09-27)May 16, 2021 (2021-05-16)
2020September 26, 2021 (2021-09-26)May 22, 2022 (2022-05-22)
2120September 25, 2022 (2022-09-25)May 7, 2023 (2023-05-07)
2220October 1, 2023TBA
Spin-off
The Cleveland Show121September 27, 2009 (2009-09-27)May 23, 2010 (2010-05-23)Richard Appel and Mike HenryConcluded
222September 26, 2010 (2010-09-26)May 15, 2011 (2011-05-15)
322September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25)May 20, 2012 (2012-05-20)
423October 7, 2012 (2012-10-07)May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19)

Merchandise

Main article: List of Family Guy home video releases

As of 2009, six books have been released about the Family Guy universe, all published by HarperCollins since 2005.[17] The first, Family Guy: Stewie's Guide to World Domination (ISBN 978-0-06-077321-2) by Steve Callahan, was released on April 26, 2005. Written in the style of a graphic novel, the plot follows Stewie's plans to rule the world.[18] Other books include Family Guy: It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One (ISBN 978-0-7528-7593-4), which covers the events of the episode "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One";[19] and Family Guy and Philosophy: A Cure for the Petarded (ISBN 978-1-4051-6316-3), a collection of 17 essays exploring the connections between the series and historical philosophers.[20] A book written from Brian's point of view (written by Andrew Goldberg) was published in 2006, called Brian Griffin's Guide to Booze, Broads and the Lost Art of Being a Man.[21]

Family Guy has been commercially successful in the home market.[22] The show was the first to be resurrected because of high DVD sales.[23][24] The first volume, covering the show's first two seasons, sold 1.67 million units, topping TV DVD sales in 2003, while the second volume sold another million units.[23][25] Volumes six and seven debuted at fifth place in United States DVD sales;[26][27] volume seven was the highest-selling television DVD, selling 171,000 units by June 21, 2009.[27] Family Guy Presents Blue Harvest, the DVD featuring the Star Wars special "Blue Harvest", was released on January 15, 2008, and premiered at the top of United States DVD sales.[28] The DVD was the first Family Guy DVD to include a digital copy for download to the iPod.[28] In 2004, the first series of Family Guy toy figurines was released by Mezco Toyz; each member of the Griffin family had their own toy, with the exception of Stewie, of whom two different figures were made.[29] Over the course of two years, four more series of toy figures were released, with various forms of Peter.[30] In 2008, the character Peter appeared in advertisements for Subway Restaurants, promoting the restaurant's massive feast sandwich.[31][32]

Other media

Books

Family Guy: It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One was written by executive story editor Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and actress Alex Borstein. The book was first published on May 8, 2007.[33] The book is a biographical monologue by Lois Griffin discussing her memories of growing up and to her attempted run for mayor in the town of Quahog. Though the book primarily consists of a loose narrative monologue by Lois, it is also interspersed with sections from other characters such as Peter Griffin. The book covers events featured in the Family Guy episode "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One", with which it shares a title. It was published in the United Kingdom in 2007 by Orion Books.[34]

A comic book based on the Family Guy universe was produced. Published by Titan Comics, edited by Steve White and illustrated by Anthony Williams and S. L. Gallant. The writing and the illustrations will be supervised by the show's producers.[35] The first comic book was released on July 27, 2011.[35]

Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History was released in May 2019, as part of the series’ 20th anniversary.[36]

Live performances

As promotion for the show, and, as Newman described, "[to] expand interest in the show beyond its diehard fans",[37] Fox organized four Family Guy Live! performances, which featured cast members reading old episodes aloud. The cast also performed musical numbers from the Family Guy: Live in Vegas comedy album.[37] The stage shows were an extension of a performance by the cast during the 2004 Montreal Comedy Festival.[37] The Family Guy Live! performances, which took place in Los Angeles and New York, sold out and were attended by around 1,200 people each.[38]

In 2007, at the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, MacFarlane performed (as the digitally inserted Stewie and Brian) the ceremony's opening number. He performed a song insulting modern television to the tune of the song "The Fellas At The Freakin' F.C.C." performed in the episode "PTV". The song insulted TV shows such as Two and a Half Men, Desperate Housewives, and Scrubs, as well as the final scene of The Sopranos.

In 2009, a special televised performance show aired entitled Family Guy Presents Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show, in which voice actors Alex Borstein and MacFarlane performed songs from the show, as well as a parody of Lady Gaga's song "Poker Face" in the voice of Marlee Matlin, who appeared on stage as a guest during the performance. Some new animated gags also appeared in the show.[39]

Films

Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2005)

Main article: Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story

Untitled Family Guy film (TBA)

On July 22, 2007, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, MacFarlane announced that he may start working on a feature film, although "nothing's official."[40] In TV Week on July 18, 2008, MacFarlane confirmed plans to produce a theatrically released Family Guy feature film sometime "within the next year."[41] He came up with an idea for the story, "something that you could not do on the show, which [to him] is the only reason to do a movie." He later went to say he imagines the film to be "an old-style musical with dialogue" similar to The Sound of Music, saying that he would "really be trying to capture, musically, that feel."[42] On October 13, 2011, MacFarlane confirmed that a deal for a Family Guy film had been made, and that it would be written by himself and series co-producer Ricky Blitt.[43]

On November 30, 2012, MacFarlane confirmed plans to produce a Family Guy film.[44] The project was put on hold while MacFarlane worked on Ted 2.[45]

On August 10, 2018, Fox announced that a live-action film based on the series is in development.[46]

In July 2019, MacFarlane confirmed that there will be a Family Guy feature film adaptation.[47]

As of January 2024, there has not been any update news for the movie.

Video games

See also: List of Family Guy video games

The Family Guy Video Game! is a 2006 action game released by 2K Games and developed by High Voltage Software. The game received mixed reviews, averaging 50% favorable reviews for the PlayStation 2 version,[48] 51% for the PlayStation Portable version,[49] and 53% for the Xbox version,[50] according to review aggregator Metacritic. The game received praise for its humor,[51] but was criticized for its short playtime[52] and "uninteresting gameplay".[53]

To promote both Family Guy and American Dad!'s home media releases, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment officially released a flash-animated crossover fighting game, American Dad! vs. Family Guy 2: Hyper Turbo Combo, on its official website in 2006. It also features Street Fighter's own Ryu as a surprise playable character. Two other Family Guy mobile games (Air Griffin and Uncensored) were released on 2007 and 2009, respectively. MacFarlane recorded exclusive material of Peter's voice and other Family Guy characters for a 2007 pinball machine of the show by Stern Pinball.[54] On November 2, 2009, IGN journalist Ryan Langley reported the production of a Family Guy-based party game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. He cited the LinkedIn profiles of former HB Studios developer Chris Kolmatycki and Invisible Entertainment co-owner Ron Doucet, which stated that the individuals had worked on the game.[55]

A game called Family Guy Online was launched into public beta in April 2012, but permanently shut down on January 18, 2013.[56] Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, which is centered around the episode "Road to the Multiverse", was released on November 20, 2012. Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff launched on iOS and Android on April 10, 2014. Animation Throwdown: The Quest for Cards was launched on 2016 for iOS, Android and Steam on September 27, 2016. It is a crossover card fighting/strategy game featuring Family Guy, American Dad!, King of the Hill, Futurama and Bob's Burgers. Family Guy: Another Freakin Mobile Game was released on iOS on April 25, 2017.[57] Warped Kart Racers was released on Apple Arcade in May 2022. It is a crossover racing game between Family Guy, American Dad!, King of the Hill and Solar Opposites.

References

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