Family Guy goes on without creator Seth MacFarlane
As reported last week, production on new episodes of Family Guy didn't stop when it's creator Seth MacFarlane, who also voices the three main male characters Peter, Stewie and Brian, stopped working to support the Writers Guild of America strike, and refused to come back to work. While MacFarlane officially gave his blessing for the studio to continue production of the series without him, according to EW.com he expressed that he hoped they wouldn't, and that doing so would be damaging to his relationship with the network, adding that "it would just be a colossal dick move if they did."
The last pre-strike produced episode aired last Sunday which left the studio with the option to continue without MacFarlane and the writing staff, or go immediately into reruns. With November Sweeps upon us and most of their live action compatriots being forced into repeats soon, network brass decided that the hopes of one creator; who you might recall they've already fired once so they could certainly do it again; paled in comparison to the hopes and dreams of beating Desperate Housewives during sweeps month and being able to jack up ad rates to Super Bowl levels (I know these are the kinds of things TV Execs dream of because I watch 30 Rock). And so, tonight will mark the premiere of the first episode ever completed without its creator's blessing.
While the episodes in question were begun with MacFarlane and the writers in place, considering the long lead time animated series must work under (except for South Park who can knock one out in twelve minutes), there are always late changes and edits that are made before each one goes to air, and this portion is what the networks are doing without their showrunner. If the strike continues, however, they may have to get even more hands on.
My question is what will Family Guy look and sound like without its showrunner, head writer and principal male voice talent? With the opportunity to run their own show that reaches big numbers in the coveted demographic opposite a slate of reruns and hack specials, the execs would probably opt to pen the series themselves to get the "right" message across. For voice actors, they'd have to look beyond anyone who might be sympathetic to the writer's strike and reach for those out of work actors desperate for any sort of paycheck.
Peter (sitting in a lawn chair, voiced by Tony Danza): Yo, Lois. Maybe we could sit and just, you know, talk for awhile.
Lois: No, no, no, no, no! Nobody likes it when you sit and talk to other people. Just shut up, make your funny noises and smile.
Fonzie (cutting in): Hey, that's my thing! [Rides by on a motorcycle holding both thumbs up and jumps a shark swimming in Stewie's wading pool] Aaaaaaaaayyyyy!
Stewie (in the pool, voiced by Gary Coleman): D'jou see that! Shark just came out this water! Da's messed up is what that is!
Brian (holding a martini, voiced by Dudley Moore): I'll tell you whatsh go-guh-goin' on. It'sh those damned shtoopid writersshhh and their sshhtoopid sht-(hiccup), sht-(hiccup), walkout! They should just akshept the fair and reasonable offer the netwurksch--
Chris: Wait, you sound like Dudley Moore. I thought Dudley Moore was dead.
Brian: It turnsh out dead, drunk, embalmed, pickled, nobody can really tell the diffrinssshhh (burp)!
Meg (walking on-scene): What's going on out here? I heard strange voices. [Shark comes out of the pool and swallows Meg whole before resubmerging.]
Lois. Oh my god! ... I think she was wearing my blouse!