If Fox is the network that The Simpsons built, than Seth MacFarlane is the media powerhouse that Fox built. And loves. And wants around forever and ever and ever. Sure they cancelled his first show – Family Guy – early on, but they realized their mistake after it became a hit on syndication and DVD and they brought it back to a sweet spot on the Sunday night lineup. Then they added his next animated half hour show American Dad, followed by Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show. This Fall sees the addition of his first live-action half hour comedy creation – Dads, starring Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi – join Fox primetime. AND next year, the Seth MacFarlane produced Cosmos reboot will air. Between Seth MacFarlane shows and Gordon Ramsay shows it is almost amazing anyone else gets air time on Fox primetime these days.
Family Guy first premiered on Fox after the Superbowl back in 1999. It was cancelled in 2002 after three seasons, but brought back in 2005 and has been on the air ever since (eleven seasons and over 200 episodes as of the time I’m writing this blog post). This half hour, animated comedy centers around the exploits of the Griffin family – father Peter, mother Lois, son Chris, daughter Meg, baby Stewie, and talking dog Brian. Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, and Mike Henry perform the regular voice-overs for the main characters. Besides consistently high viewer numbers, Family Guy has managed over the years to prove its worth by pulling in twelve Primetime Emmy nominations and eleven Annie (animation award) nominations, and winning three of each.
American Dad! came along in 2005 a few months before Family Guy returned to the Animation Domination primetime programming block on Fox Sunday nights. It has been on consistently after since for nine seasons and over 150 episodes. This half hour animated comedy revolves around the life and adventures of CIA agent Stan Smith and his family – wife Francine, son Steve, daughter Hayley, talking goldfish Klaus, and escaped alien Roger. Once again Seth MacFarlane is a major voice actor for the show (like with Family Guy) and is joined for American Dad! by Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Rachael MacFarlane, and Dee Bradley Baker. Though it has not managed to win any awards yet, American Dad! has managed to pull in almost two dozen nominations, including Teen Choice, Golden Reel, Annie, GLAAD Media, Prism, Artios, and POPrepublic.tv IT LIST.
Of all the recurring side characters on Family Guy, it was Cleveland Brown that was chosen in 2009 to get his own spinoff show. The Cleveland Show aired for four seasons and over 80 episodes before being cancelled (to new episodes) in May of 2013. Yet another half hour, animated comedy, The Cleveland Show centered around Cleveland, his son Cleveland Jr, and their experiences joining families with Donna Tubbs, her son Rallo, and her daughter Roberta. Seth MacFarlane voiced one of the show characters, as did Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan, Kevin Michael Richardson, Reagan Gomez-Preston, and Jason Sudeikis. Like its predecessors, The Cleveland Show pulled in a fair share of award nominations, including an Annie, an Emmy, and two Teen Choice nominations. It didn’t manage to win any of them.
All three current Seth MacFarlane shows (as of June 2013) can be seen on Sunday evenings during primetime. The Cleveland Show airs at 7pm, Family Guy airs at 9pm, and American Dad airs at 9:30pm.
Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!
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