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Family Guy

Family Guy is an animated television series set in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island. The show was created by Seth MacFarlane[?] and was first aired in the US on the Fox Network on January 31, 1999. The show centres around the Griffin family; parents Peter and Lois, children Meg, Chris and Stewie; and Brian, their pet dog. The show makes many references to the real world, especially the entertainment industry and, for example, William Shatner, Star Wars and President Clinton all appear irregularly. Three seasons of the show were produced, a total of fifty episodes before it was discontinued by Fox.

Table of contents

History

The first season was first shown on January 31, 1999 and contained seven episodes, the season introduced the viewer to the show's main characters. The second season began on September 23, 1999 and contained 22 episodes, one of which, When You Wish Upon A Weinstein, was never shown on American television due to fears that it's content was too controversial. The third season contained 21 episodes and began its run on July 11, 2001. Fox angered some fans by often changing the scheduling for the show at short notice during the second and third seasons. Indeed after only two episodes of the second season Family Guy was taken off of the network's schedule and was shown irregularly there-after.

There was a great deal of debate and rumour during both the second and third seasons about whether Family Guy would be canceled or renewed. The show was canceled at the end of the second series to the dismay of fans. Websites were set up to attempt to convince Fox to renew the show and petitions were signed, letters were written and some fans even sent daipers and baby food to Fox. A shift in power at Fox resulted in thirteen new episodes being ordered which formed the basis of the third season. The creators were not unaware of the uncertainty of the show's future and in Road to Rhode Island[?], Brian and Stewie perform a duet featuring the lines;

"Until we're syndicated Fox will never let us die... please!"

During the third season, Fox again announced that the show would be canceled. The news was again met with dismay by fans and renewed efforts were made to convince Fox to ressurect the show. An online petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/savefg2/petition) was launched, which in only a few weeks had over 10,000 signatures, containing the following message, addressed to Gail Berman[?] and Sandy Grushow[?], the President of Entertainment and Chairman of Fox at the time;

To: FOX Broadcasting

Dear Ms. Gail Berman and Mr. Sandy Grushow,

We are avid watchers of FOX programming, especially the show “Family Guy.” We have recently heard that FOX Broadcasting has cancelled this show. We are informing you of a boycott of FOX Broadcasting, FX, FOX Sports Channel, and all products shown on FOX Broadcasting, FX, and FOX Sports Channel. We are all willing to comply with the boycott and do whatever it takes to get our favorite FOX show (“Family Guy”) back on the air.
We will not only be boycotting your stations, we will be boycotting every product shown on those stations. These products include, but are not limited to: Nyquil, Schick, Valvoline, Gold Bond, Subway Sandwiches, Buick Motor Vehicles, Alka-Seltzer, Monistat 7, Diflucan, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Heartguard, Frontline, any product on TimeLife.com, Ranger Bass Boats, The Xtractor, any product made by MGM, 1-800-COLLECT, Hunt's Manwich, any product made by Reeses', any product made by Walt Disney, and Gevalia coffee and coffee makers.
As you can see, we are taking this cancellation very seriously. We will contact our local newspapers, and television stations; and with that we will gain more people in our “quest” to get “Family Guy” back on television.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

The petition now has over 100,000 signatures but this, along with mass e-mailing and letter writing to Fox executives and organised street protests, failed to save Family Guy. Later efforts to get other networks, particularly UPN, to buy Family Guy also failed.

Fox cited poor viewing figures as part of their reason for not renewing the show but critics claimed this was due to the erratic scheduling the show had received and the fact that it was shown at the same time as Friends and Survivor, two very popular shows at the time. Also, reported costs of around $1.1million per episode may have played a part in the decision.

At the current time, however, Cartoon Network is playing re-runs of the show.

Main Characters

Family Guy centres around Peter Griffin and his family, there are also many other characters who appear on a less regular basis. Below are brief biographies of the main characters;

Peter Griffin - The father of the family. Peter is married to Lois with whom he has three children; Meg, Chris and Stewie. Peter is a production line worker at the Quahog Happy-Go-Lucky toy factory (but after being fired becomes a fisherman). Things involving him often go wrong but generally turn out well in the end. Peter Griffin is voiced by Seth MacFarlane[?].

Lois Griffin - The mother of the family. Lois is Peter's long suffering wife and is much more intelligent than him. She is the daughter of very wealthy parents but married Peter as she preferred him to the wealthy, and in her opinion fake, people she grew up around. Lois teaches piano lessons to supplement the family's income but spends most of her time looking after the family, especially the baby Stewie. Lois Griffin is voiced by Alex Borstein[?]

Megan Griffin - Megan, or Meg as she is usually known, is the Griffin's eldest child. Aged 16, she worries about many of the stereotypical teen issues like popularity and dating. While Meg is quite intelligent, she is much more worried about being being popular. Meg Griffin was voiced by Lacey Chabert[?] in the first season and by Mila Kunis[?] thereafter.

Chris Griffin - Thirteen year old Chris is the least intelligent of the Griffin children. He is also, like his father, very overweight. He does, however, have a talent for drawing and in A Picture is Worth A Thousand Bucks Peter sells one of his paintings to a New York art dealer for $5000. Chris is voiced by Seth Green.

Stewie Griffin - Stewie is a British-accented, machiavellian one year old. Stewie has the vocabulary of an adult but can only, seemingly, be understood by Brian. Stewie has plans to take over the world and regularly tries to kill Lois, his mother, for thwarting his plans. There are various episodes, however, where it is suggested that when Lois is absent Stewie misses her and that he secretly prefers her presence. Stewie is voiced by Seth MacFarlane.

Brian Griffin - It would be difficult to describe Brian as the Griffin's pet dog as he talks, smokes, can drive cars and is a border-line alcoholic. Brian is also Peter's best friend and regularly helps him when he is in trouble. Brian is voiced by Seth MacFarlane.

Episodes

Season 1

  • Death Has a Shadow
  • I Never Met the Dead Man
  • Mind over Murder
  • Chitty Chitty Death Bang
  • A Hero Sits Next Door
  • The Son Also Draws
  • Brian: Portrait of a Dog

Season 2

  • Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater
  • Holy Crap
  • DaBoom
  • Brian In Love
  • Love Thy Trophy
  • Death is a Bitch
  • The King Is Dead
  • I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar
  • If I'm Dyin' I'm lyin
  • Running Mates
  • A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Bucks
  • Fifteen Minutes Of Shame
  • Road To Rhode Island
  • Let's Go To The Hop
  • Dammit Janet
  • There's Something About Paulie
  • He's Too Sexy For His Fat
  • E. Peterbus Unum
  • The Story On Page 1
  • Wasted Talent
  • Fore Father
  • When You Wish Upon A Weinstein (unaired)

Season 3

  • The Thin White Line
  • Brian Does Hollywood
  • Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington
  • One If By Clam, Two If By Sea
  • And the Wiener is...
  • Death Lives
  • Lethal Weapons
  • The Kiss Seen Around the World
  • Mr. Saturday Knight
  • A Fish Out of Water
  • Emission Impossible
  • To Live and Die in Dixie
  • Screwed The Pooch
  • Peter Griffin: Husband, Father...Brother?
  • Ready, Willing, and Disabled
  • A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas
  • Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows
  • From Method to Madness
  • Stuck Together, Torn Apart
  • European Road Show
  • Family Guy Viewer Mail #1

DVDs

Region 1

  • Family Guy Volume 1, Seasons 1 & 2 is available. It contains all the episodes from Seasons 1 and 2. Some episodes will also have audio commentary tracks. Volume 2 will include the unaired When You Wish Upon A Weinstein

Region 2

  • Family Guy Season One - contains all the episodes from Season 1 and the first seven episodes from Season 2.
  • Family Guy Season Two - contains the final fifteen episodes from Season 2, including the unaired When You Wish Upon A Weinstein.



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