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Family Guy is an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic (with human characteristics) pet dog Brian. The show is set in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island, and exhibits much of its humor in the form of cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture.
The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve are two animated short films created by Seth MacFarlane in the mid 1990s that eventually led to the development of the animated sitcom Family Guy. MacFarlane originally created The Life of Larry as a thesis film in 1995, while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Executives at Fox saw both Larry shorts and contracted MacFarlane to create a series based on the characters, to be called Family Guy. Peter Griffin, one of the main characters in Family Guy, was largely based on Larry. In addition, Steve would be the main inspiration behind the Griffin family dog, Brian. Fox proposed MacFarlane complete a 15-minute short, giving him a budget of $50,000. Upon completion of the pilot, the series went on the air. The network executives were impressed with the pilot and ordered thirteen episodes, seven of which aired during the first season of Family Guy. MacFarlane was offered a $2 million per-season contract.
Family Guy and its cast have been nominated for thirteen Emmy Awards, with four wins. MacFarlane won the Outstanding Voice-Over Performance award for his performance as Stewie; Murphy and MacFarlane won the Outstanding Music and Lyrics award for the song "You Got a Lot to See" from the episode "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows"; Steven Fonti won the Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation award for his storyboard work in the episode "No Chris Left Behind"; and Greg Colton won the Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation award for his storyboard work in the episode "Road to the Multiverse".
Family Guy officially premiered after Fox's broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIII on January 31, 1999, with "Death Has a Shadow". The show debuted to 22 million viewers, and immediately generated controversy regarding its adult content. The show returned on April 11, 1999, with "I Never Met the Dead Man". Family Guy garnered decent ratings in Fox's 8:30 pm slot on Sunday, scheduled between The Simpsons and The X-Files. At the end of its first season, the show was No. 33 in the Nielsen ratings, with 12.8 million households tuning in. The show launched its second season in a new time slot, Thursday at 9 pm, on September 23, 1999. Family Guy was pitted against NBC's Frasier, and the series' ratings declined sharply. Fox removed Family Guy from the network's permanent schedule, and began airing episodes irregularly. The show returned on March 7, 2000, at 8:30 pm on Tuesdays, but was constantly beaten in the ratings by the new breakout hit Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, coming in at No. 114 in the Nielsen Ratings with 6.320 million households tuning in. Fox announced that the show had been canceled in 2000, at the end of the second season. However, following a last-minute reprieve, Fox announced on July 24, 2000, its intention to order 13 additional episodes of Family Guy to form a third season.
The show returned November 8, 2001, once again in a tough time slot: Thursday nights at 8:00 pm ET. This slot brought it into competition with Survivor and Friends. (This situation was later referenced in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story). During its second- and third-season runs, Fox frequently moved the show around to different days and time slots with little or no notice and, consequently, the show's ratings suffered. Upon Fox's annual unveiling of its 2002 fall line-up on May 15, 2002, Family Guy was absent. Fox announced that the show had been officially canceled shortly thereafter.
A comic book based on the Family Guy universe is being produced. Published by Titan Comics, it will be 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. The comics will consist of a main story, a short story, and a gag strip. The first comic book was released on July 27, 2011.
The Cleveland Show is an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Henry, and Richard Appel for the Fox Broadcasting Company as a spin-off of Family Guy. The series centers on the Browns and Tubbs, two dysfunctional families consisting of parents Cleveland Brown and Donna Tubbs and their children Cleveland Brown, Jr., Roberta Tubbs, and Rallo Tubbs. Similarly to Family Guy, it exhibits much of its humor in the form of cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture.
The American animated sitcom Family Guy has been the target of numerous complaints concerning taste and indecency. Parents Television Council has expressed moral opposition to the series, and filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission. Criticism also originates from animators concerning quality and originality. While most attention has been given to the moral criticisms (e.g. crude and blue humor), stylistic content and thin storytelling with a loose plot and overuse of "cutaway sequences" have drawn criticism.
Family Guy has also received criticism, including unfavorable comparisons for its similarities to The Simpsons.
In March 2007 comedian Carol Burnett filed a $6 million lawsuit against 20th Century-Fox, claiming that her charwoman cartoon character had been portrayed on the show without her permission. She stated it was a trademark infringement, and that Fox violated her publicity rights. On June 4, 2007, United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson rejected the lawsuit, stating that the parody was protected under the First Amendment.
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