Since its debut episode aired on January 31, 1999, 'Family Guy' has been one of the most popular shows on television. Continuing a strong twelve-season run, creator Seth MacFarlane and his loveable cast of characters remain beloved across the globe, solidifying the adult animation sitcom as a unique program while also identifying the 30-minute show as a program that really helped take animated comedies to the next level. Of course 'The Simpsons' jump-started the craze back in 1989 but now that MacFarlane's gem has joined in on the fun, animated sitcoms remain some of the most enjoyable shows on television.
Though the show remains a highly watched event, 'Family Guy' came under fire after the most recent episode stirred up emotions the sitcom has never experienced before. While setting up to play outdoor street hockey with his buddy Stewie, Brian Griffin was struck by a speeding car. Due to the severity of the accident, the lovable Griffin dog passed away shortly after at a nearby hospital, sending the Griffins, their closest friends and the millions who watch the series into a state of mixed emotions. For all the comedic relief MacFarlane has been able to provide over the years, the 'Family Guy' creator certainly struck a nerve with the loyal fans by eliminating one of the show's most popular figures.
Recent news since the accident has indicated that folks across the globe have been voicing their distaste for the episode, with many asking that Brian somehow be worked back into the show. Those who watch the show on a regular basis know that a usual way for the main characters to eliminate dangerous situations is to travel back in time through the use of Stewie Griffin's time machine. The bad news is that in the last episode, young Stewie destroys his infamous machine, rendering a trip to the past useless, while leaving many fans stunned that Brian Griffin may in fact never return.
According to TMZ, 'Family Guy' will most likely not bring the dog back despite the public outcry through social media and on-line petitions. The celebrity gossip superpower notes that because the Griffins have already replaced Brian with another dog, Vinnie, there may not be a real reason or desire by show creators to bring the former pet back. Voiced by 'Sopranos' star Paul Sorico, the dog Vinnie is set to appear for at least six episodes, leaving a big time chance for Brian to remain off the long list of recurring characters. Vinnie's character could also remain a staple on the program after the initial six weeks, setting up the possibility that Brian doesn't return for a very long time or never comes back at all. Eliminating a pet was also a more plausible move, according to one of the show's top producers.
"As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters," producer Steve Callaghan said recently. "It seemed more in the realm of reality that a dog would get hit by a car, than if one of the kids died. As much as we love Brian, and as much as everyone loves their pets, we felt it would be more traumatic to lose one of the kids, rather than the family pet."
One of the reasons Seth MacFarlane may have chosen to shake the program up is because he's grown tired of the show. The creator has said in the past that he's thought about stopping the creation of new episodes and now many believe the removal of Brian could be a step in that direction IF they do ultimately choose not to bring him back.
"Part of me thinks that Family Guy should have already ended," MacFarlane said. "I think seven seasons is about the right lifespan for a TV series. I talk to the fans and in a way I'm kind of secretly hoping for them to say we're done with it. There are plenty of people who say the show is kind of over the hill... but still the vast majority go pale in the face when I mention the possibility."
For now, all fans of the show can do is wait and see what becomes of the new situation. With Vinnie taking over the role of family pet and the Griffin's getting used to the different setting, it could be awhile before the situation develops further. While many believe this is in fact the end for Brian Griffin, Seth MacFarlane has certainly proven in the past that he has a flare for the dramatic so loyalists shouldn't give up complete hope, even though all signs seem to point toward the end of the beloved character.