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Story last updated at 8:26 p.m. on Monday, March 29, 2004
Subscribe to the newspaper E-mail the editor Send to a friend Forums Print-ready version Family Guy returns with 22 new episodes to premiere in early 2005


Wire reports

   ATLANTA - In an unprecedented move, 20th Century Fox Television has committed to producing a minimum of 22 new half-hour episodes of Seth MacFarlane's Emmy Award-winning animated comedy series Family Guy more than two years after the series aired its last original episode.
   The move comes on the heels of the serie's elevation to pop culture phenomenon, particularly among the traditionally hard-to-reach young adult demographic, as demonstrated by its enormous success on DVD and on the Cartoon Network. In 2003, Family Guy was the No. 1 selling TV property on DVD.
   On Cartoon Network, Family Guy ranks No. 1 in its time period on cable among adults ages 18-34, and also beats both The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in head-to-head competition among men 18-34.
   The new episodes will be available in early 2005 to be shown on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's late night block of animated programming for adults on which Family Guy currently ranks as the No. 1 show. The Fox Broadcasting Company has an option to license the original runs of those new episodes.
   Seth MacFarlane, creator and executive producer of Family Guy and two-time Emmy Award winner for his work on the series, and producer Kara Vallow are currently assembling the writing and production staff for the new episodes.
   ''This is incredibly exciting for everyone at Fox,'' enthused 20th Century Fox TV President Gary Newman. ''The overwhelming response to Family Guy this past year is a real tribute to Seth's vision and talent and it's been really gratifying to all the executives who never stopped championing him and the show. The fact that after all this time we were able figure out a way to get back into production is a testament both to Seth's passion for keeping it alive and some really great teamwork among the executives at our studio and home entertainment and syndication divisions and those at Turner and the Cartoon Network. We're thrilled for Seth, we're thrilled for his fans, and to be honest we're thrilled for our teenage kids who threatened to emancipate themselves if we didn't figure out a way to bring the show back.''
   Commented Seth MacFarlane, ''I'm just incredibly excited that we're back in business on Family Guy. Now all those crazy kids who've been hounding me to bring the show back can stop bothering me and move onto more serious matters - like saving 'Coupling.' "
   Family Guy chronicles the lives of the Griffin family, a tight-knit but tense nuclear family living in Quahog, R.I. Peter, the loving but not-overly-ambitious patriarch, and Lois, his devoted wife, maintain a comfortable middle class home. Teen queen Meg, slacker Chris and homicidal infant Stewie round out the Griffin brood, but the most sensible and well-spoken member of the clan is the family dog, Brian.
   Family Guy had its series preview on FOX on Jan. 31, 1999, following the Super Bowl and its series premiere on April 11, 1999. It earned an Emmy Award in 2000 for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (Seth MacFarlane) and an Emmy Award in 2002 for Outstanding Music & Lyrics (Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane) and was nominated for Outstanding Animated Series in 2000.
   The final original episode aired Feb. 14, 2002. Family Guy joined Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on April 20, 2003, and immediately became the block's top-rated programming, dominating late night viewing in its time period vs. cable and broadcast competition.
   ''Bringing Family Guy to the Adult Swim lineup last April really helped turn the block into a cultural phenomenon with young adults,'' said Jim Samples, Cartoon Network executive vice president and general manager. ''Now, as the destination for new episodes of what has become the block's most popular series, Family Guy will help boost Adult Swim to the next level in terms of buzz and ratings. We could not be more excited to have Seth and 20th Century Fox Television on board as Adult Swim continues its growth as the best place on TV for young adults.''
   

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Tuesday, March 30, 2004.

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