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September 2, 2015


'Robot Chicken' Receives 40-Episode Order

by Leonard Jacobs, posted Jan 21st 2010 10:55AM
For at least two more years, Seth Green will continue to have a fowl ball.

According to Variety, Adult Swim has ordered 40 additional episodes of 'Robot Chicken,' providing the top-rated stop-action series with enough material to fill seasons 5 and 6. Prior seasons have aired 20 episodes at a time, already a strong display of network confidence in the product.

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Stewie Griffin for an Emmy?

by Brad Trechak, posted May 29th 2009 10:04AM
Family GuySeth McFarlane is trying to break the Emmy barrier by having Family Guy compete with such shows as 30 Rock and The Office. For the second year in a row, Family Guy is being submitted as a nominee for the general comedy series category (as opposed to the animated 'toon category).

I'm ambivalent about this choice. On one hand, a lot of great comedy has come from animation that certainly is on par with the live-action television comedies. On the other hand, if a comedy series did compete against live sitcoms, I'd prefer it was The Simpsons or South Park which historically have been much better at intellectual humor than anything McFarlane has produced. It's also difficult to do a direct comparison since cartoon shows are more flexible storytelling vehicles than live sitcoms. It's like having an unlimited special effects budget.

I note that McFarlane and company have also jumped on the Obama campaign poster parody bandwagon. That's so six months ago.

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Was anybody else disappointed in the Star Trek/Family Guy episode?

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 30th 2009 1:16AM
Star Trek on Family GuyI made it my business to catch the episode of Family Guy which guest-voiced the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I have to say I was somewhat disappointed.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed some parts of the episode. The "shut up Wil" line by Patrick Stewart had me in stitches, as well as the sudden death of Denise Crosby (obviously, the writers are ST:TNG fans). Hell, Patrick Stewart is a recurring guest on Seth McFarlane's other series American Dad.

It just seemed to me that after the brilliant Star Wars parody from last year, they would do something more with such a line-up of talent than simply "Stewie gets to hang out and go bowling with the cast." It was even relegated to the "B" plot, with the "A" plot being Meg's sudden faith in God as a result of watching Kirk Cameron on TV.

I was hoping for something more akin to an episode of The Next Generation done Family Guy-style. Or would that have been redundant of the Star Wars episode? What do you think? Was the episode decent or could it have used improvement?

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Fox is pushing back Cleveland

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 11th 2008 5:14PM
ClevelandThe Family Guy spin-off from Seth McFarlane and company called Cleveland (formerly The Cleveland Show) is being pushed back by Fox and likely will not debut this season.

No doubt the speculation regarding this decision will run wild throughout the Internet. My guess is that Fox wanted more episodes for a stronger Sunday night animation line-up. With the end of King of the Hill on Fox, there is now room, plus three of the four shows will be from Seth McFarlane (the non-Seth show being The Simpsons). No wonder he's so loaded.

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Family Guy: Play it Again, Brian - VIDEO

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 3rd 2008 12:02AM
Family Guy(S06E10) Lois, Peter and Brian take a vacation to Martha's Vineyard. Peter drinks up a storm and Brian confesses his love for Lois. Hilarity ensues.

Seth McFarlane shows his Massachusetts background in this episode (his parents are from there). I saw references to Boston Harbor (the John Hancock building was in the background) and Six Flags New England (which is very close to Connecticut, the state where he was raised).

The show continues to explore Brian's artistic tendencies as he wins a writing award (we later learn the piece he wrote was mostly plagiarized). It's debatable if this is better or worse than the time he was a porn director.

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Family Guy: Blue Harvest - DVD Review

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 14th 2008 11:02AM
Family Guy: Blue HarvestTV Squad already did a review of this episode when it was originally broadcast. What follows is a review of the DVD extras.

Extras include:
  • Episode commentary by Seth McFarlane and a bunch of other members of the production team (absent are any of the character voices other than McFarlane himself).
  • A twelve minute interview of George Lucas by Seth McFarlene on Star Wars, Family Guy, and a variety of other topics including dating.
  • A nineteen minute documentary about how much the creators of Family Guy love Star Wars.
  • The original animatics for the episode (includes jokes and animations that didn't make the final cut).
  • A Family Guy Star Wars Clip Show (clips from Family Guy episodes which reference Star Wars).
  • A generic Family Guy promo for Fox.

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Family Guy: McStroke

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 14th 2008 9:42AM
Family Guy(S06E08) In a mild parody of the movie Super Size Me, Peter suffers a stroke after eating too many fast-food hamburgers. Meanwhile, Stewie becomes the most popular student at James Woods High School, despite being a baby.

Family Guy has such potential to be an original and funny series and so much of it is wasted. I saw hints of really good ideas in the episode but those were superseded by some hack writing and poorly executed material. Another reason to loathe the WGA Strike.

Spoilers after the jump.

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Family Guy: Lois Kills Stewie (Part 2)

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 11th 2007 10:42PM
Family Guy(S06E05) Lois has realized that she has given birth to a monster and knows what she has to do to resolve it. The world needs more mothers who take responsibility like this.

I never liked episodes which end up saying "the whole episode you just watched never happened", but the nice thing about Family Guy is its tendency to call itself out on its own crap before the viewer can. I believe Brian described it best when he called it giving the audience a giant middle finger.

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Family Guy: Stewie Kills Lois (Part 1)

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 5th 2007 11:21AM

Stewie finally kills Lois in this week's episode of Family Guy(S06E04) During last Festivus I mentioned the secret constitution that the networks have to regulate their industry. This is the document that says the Regis Philbin robot must have a full check-out every six months and that one network or another must produce a musical-based drama every twenty years or so that will fail right off the bat. I'm hoping that, after watching this week's 100th episode of Family Guy, the networks add a new amendment to their constitution: clip shows will no longer air before special episodes or series finales.

Call it the Seinfeld Amendment for simplification. Before the series finale of Seinfeld NBC aired a one-hour retrospective featuring classic scenes from previous seasons. This got the viewing audience all hyped up to see an exciting and entertaining finale. Then, as we all know, that last episode was a huge suckfest that disappointed millions. If they had not aired the retrospective before the last show perhaps the anger surrounding the episode may have been lessened.

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Goodbye Family Guy?

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 27th 2006 2:10PM
StewieSay it isn't so!

OK, I'll say it: it isn't so.

Seth McFarlane is currently under negotiations with FOX about his new contract. The current contract runs out in early 2007, and McFarlane still hasn't finalized a deal with the network even though the new season is supposed to start filming (um...drawing?) very soon. Variety reports that the production offices are currently closed.

But I say the network and McFarlane make a deal. The show has been a hit and an important show for FOX since coming back, and I don't see them letting it slide away (again). Though wouldn't it be interesting if FOX for some reason didn't renew the contract and NBC picked it up? I don't see that happening, but that would be a cool twist and an instant hit for the Peacock network.

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Behind the scenes at Family Guy -- VIDEO

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 14th 2006 9:04AM

The many faces of Seth McFarlaneWhen it comes to animated series, I am always interested in looking behind the curtain to see how it all comes about. Particularly the voice talent, as many of these people (Seth McFarlane, Dan Castellaneta, Billy West) do a variety of voices for just one episode. Now, thanks to YouTube, we get to see a little bit of that behind the scenes material at the Family Guy studios.

The video features Seth McFarlane (Peter Griffin and Stewie, among others), Mila Kunis (Meg) and other company members as they do their lines for an episode of the series. What's interesting to see is how many times these voice actors go through their dialogue to get it right. What is also interesting is the fact that many of these actors perform their lines solo; I always pictured a lot of back and forth between the actors. Despite how many times the lines are read, and whether or not the readings are in a group or solo, the end result is fairly smooth when you watch the final episode on TV.

To see the video, check after the jump.

[Thanks to Michael at betapundit]

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In Defense Of: Family Guy

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 9th 2006 1:02PM

family guyI know how you feel. Really, I do. A TV show comes along that seems so obvious in its mediocrity you can't fathom why so many people enjoy it. You list myriad examples of how the show is sub-par, or a blatant rip-off of another show, or too reliant on "easy" jokes, but no one will listen to you. They just keep watching and touting the show as if it's some work of genius. It's enough to make you go insane and eat your own face.

Family Guy may be popular, but there's still a lot of people who don't like it. My feelings on this subject are paradoxical. I like Family Guy, but I still have to agree with people who say the writing isn't always up to snuff, and that the show relies too heavily on pop culture references as a substitute for humor. Brian has a line in one episode that always makes me cringe: describing New York City, he claims it's "like Prague, sans the whimsy." Maybe it's just me, but it sounds like some college freshman trying to sound smarter than he is.

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American Dad: Deacon Stan, Jesus Man

by Kim Voynar, posted Jun 20th 2005 6:18PM

American DadStan is so intent on beating his neighbor, Chuck White, to church - so he can park in a shady spot, that he runs over pigeons and elderly neighbors on his way there. When the deacon chokes to death on a communion wafer, the church needs a new one.

Chuck volunteers for deacon,  so Stan, naturally, does too. On top of that, Chuck offers to host the potluck for the wake while Stan is in the bathroom. Poor Stan - Chuck has a bigger paycheck, a nicer house, a better wife and kids, how can Stan compete with him? It's on!

Back home, Rodger is in a reproductive cycle and is lactating.

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Family Guy: Petarded

by Kim Voynar, posted Jun 20th 2005 5:11PM

Family GuyAt a neighborhood game night, Peter wins at Trivial Pursuit. He doesn't realize that Lois is reading him questions from the preschool edition, though and declares himself a genius. Brian, fed up with Peter's lording his Trivial Pursuit victory over everyone, tells Peter about a test for geniuses. Peter takes the test and finds that, not only is he not a genius, he's  mentally retarded.

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