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Family Guy,
January 28, 2002 9:54 AM   Subscribe

Family Guy, the uproariously funny and at times controversial Fox cartoon, has apparently been cancelled as of this season. A petition is presently circulating. Many others are writing letters. For me, I'm just sobbing quietly in a dark corner.
posted by nickd (50 comments total)

 
Poor Family Guy was doomed at the beginning. Every review I read for the show (which was a post Super Bowl premeire one year for Fox) panned it as badly written and horribly paced. They were right, of course. The problem is that no one hung on to see what a fantastic show it turned out to be. Somewhere in that first season (what, you didn't see it? maybe that's because Fox felt it would fare better on the rotating night plan) it really caught its stride and became a truly hilarious cartoon. There were weeks when it rivalled some of the Simpsons' best episodes. When the schedule roullette stopped, however, it found itself on Thrusday, up against NBC's lineup, CSI and Survivor.

I'd known the ratings were down the tube and Fox's recent FG marathon (4 episodes on a Thrusday recently) was too little too late.

Too bad, I'll miss that show. Maybe they can spin off Stewey.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:05 AM on January 28, 2002


This is what, the second time they've cancelled the show? The family guy and futurama suffer badly from the same programming mistakes Fox keeps making. You never know when its on, it could be its normal time or there will be some marathon or two-hour special randomly inserted into schedule. Die-hards will watch or just download them, while the Neilson families can never get hooked if they can't watch these shows consistantly.
posted by skallas at 10:10 AM on January 28, 2002


Argh! They've canned the show several times.

Useless Fox network, can't even market a good show, yet they have no problem insuring solid schedules for their animal attack shows. Pathetic, really.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:13 AM on January 28, 2002


What eyeballkid said. And it just goes to show: the public prefers pablum like Everybody Loves Raymond over Family Guy any day of the week. When it comes to patience or appetite for something a wee bit edgier, the US public is predictably conservative.
posted by Karl at 10:13 AM on January 28, 2002


This show was definitely one of my guiltiest pleasures.
posted by MrBaliHai at 10:19 AM on January 28, 2002


While I'm thinking of it... I have two words for Seth MacFarlane: Comedy Central. Seriously, that show and CC would be a match made in heaven. It would easily get enough ratings to stick around on basic cable, and its production costs couldn't be much more than South Park.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:22 AM on January 28, 2002


The show had its funny moments and its surreal moments. Yes it's been better than the Simpsons lately, but lately that's a lower bar. I can't say Family Guy was funnier than Homer and co. in their heyday (Halloween special with the time machine and 'The Shinning.' Wonderful). F.G. was better than King of the Hill, though, and that show's still running, I think.

In an unrelated note, Karl's post is the second time today I've seen 'pablum' used... just don't see that word used often enough.
posted by krewson at 10:23 AM on January 28, 2002


hmm, wasn't it always a bit on the lame edge tho? (compared to the simpsons anyway)
At least there's Sealab2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Cartoon Network, however short they may be
posted by Narbotic at 10:25 AM on January 28, 2002


. And it just goes to show: the public prefers pablum like Everybody Loves Raymond over Family Guy any day of the week.

Lets assume that's true, what's wrong with that? Shows get cancelled because the benefits of putting something else in that time slot outweighs the loss of canning the show. Like I wrote before, the Family Guy barely has a real time slot. Very few people are going to be turning to each other and going, "WTF where's the Family Guy." Most likely people 10 or so years from now will be saying, "Hey remember that Simpsons like show with that crazy baby?"

Kind of the way I mention Get a Life.
posted by skallas at 10:31 AM on January 28, 2002


Actually, Everybody Loves Raymond may be a much more conventional show, but you can't dismiss it as 'pablum'. It's quite well written and acted, and for the genre of family-oriented sitcom, it deals with sexual and gender issues on a pretty sharp and overt level. (So there, Karl.)

As for Family Guy, its attractions have eluded me. And I'm quite open to animated sitcoms with quasi-subversive humor: Simpsons, Futurama, King of the Hill. In the end, YMMV.
posted by dhartung at 10:32 AM on January 28, 2002


sigh. I pretty much agree with a lot of sentiments here. It was good when I caught it on TV, but that seemed infrequent at best. To this day, I still have no idea what day they "regularly" show Family Guy - unlike the familiarity I have with the Simpson's Sunday spot.

It makes me fear that Futurama might face a similar fate. I know that it's on Sundays, an hour before Simpsons - but with lousy movies, football games, and that god-awful CHAMBER OF BOREDOM, I'm not so sure anymore. To regularly start watching a show, I have to get into a habit with it... Fox rarely allows one to do this.
posted by mkn at 10:35 AM on January 28, 2002


I've never understood some people's attraction to Family Guy - it's a rotten and confused show with few redeeming qualities and even less potential. I love the Simpson's and some of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim... but Family Guy just stinks. The tone is constantly changing, it's shallow, predictable, dated and it's just simply unfunny. And yes - I've even made recent attempts at watching it - I caught last week’s episode to reaffirm my dislike for the show. So I say good riddance.
posted by wfrgms at 10:38 AM on January 28, 2002


The big problem I had with F.G. was that the lead character, who was obviously the "Homer" equivalent, had absolutely no heart. The key to why Homer Simpson is a great character is that, even though he's a lazy dumb doofus, he has a great heart. The Family Guy, though, is just mean.

What really doomed it, though, was its connection to Rhode Island.
posted by solistrato at 10:54 AM on January 28, 2002


You have got to be F-ing kidding me.

There is two nights a week that I actually watch and enjoy television. The Family Guy is one of the most irreverant, funny, clever shows out there...

I guess it was too "confusing" for some of the more simple tv viewers. Well, this means more room for Temptation Island and Alley McBeal...

Here is a clue for Fox - put on a funny and intelligent show, don't move the timeslot every third week, run it for a full three months - build a viewership, then rake in the dough. It worked for The Simpsons, The X-Files, Alley McBeal...

No more muscley-armed paperboy, no more sexy parties...
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:00 AM on January 28, 2002


eyeballkid is right -- it should (will?) show up on Comedy Central before too long. CC deserves an award for keeping "The Critic" and "Duckman" alive, albeit late, late at night.
posted by davidmsc at 11:02 AM on January 28, 2002


the only cartoons (and thats what all these shows are, really).i like are the glorious old ones from the 30's,40's,50's, some 60's. great art/animation/colour/etc.
nobody beats tweety bird and sylvester...except maybe those two crows.
posted by billybob at 11:15 AM on January 28, 2002


<stewey voice>Damn that Rupert Murdoch! I'll not rest until he and his wretched network have breathed their last!</stewey voice>
posted by jpoulos at 11:18 AM on January 28, 2002


I've never understood some people's attraction to Family Guy - it's a rotten and confused show with few redeeming qualities and even less potential

I thought that at first, especially after hearing high praise early on, but it's really hit a stride. It took them a year or so to get some semblance of flow going, but the current episodes are layered with at least a couple interesting subplots in addition to the main story (much like the simpsons in its heyday).

If it has a failing, the references are more pop-culturey than the simpsons, sort of seeming like a dumber version of the simpson's wit, and most episodes feature a joke that plays off racial/cultural stereotypes that sometimes is a little off.
posted by mathowie at 11:27 AM on January 28, 2002


Do online petitions really work? Do those involved ever actually read them? I'd like to see some proof that an online poll has ever made a real difference.

We will not only be boycotting your stations, we will be boycotting every product shown on those stations. These products include, but are not limited to: Nyquil, Schick, Valvoline, Gold Bond, Subway Sandwiches, Buick Motor Vehicles, Alka-Seltzer, Monistat 7, Diflucan, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Heartguard, Frontline, any product on TimeLife.com, Ranger Bass Boats, The Xtractor, any product made by MGM, 1-800-COLLECT, Hunt’s Manwich, any product made by Reeses’, any product made by Walt Disney, and Gevalia coffee and coffee makers.

Gold bond and Monistat 7? Who's really getting punished here?
posted by ColdChef at 11:37 AM on January 28, 2002


I think that jpoulos is on to something:

The simpsons has always had the 'poke fox in the eye' gag. But the Family Guy never got there I guess... But that alone would make the show better.

In all, I give it a 6.5. But the problem is that I know it'll be replaced by a show I'll give a 5 to. I'm just too far from the mainstream.

note: I wish I had the simpson's knowledge and time to make each word of poke, fox, in, the, eye a link to a various gag. but I dont.
posted by zpousman at 11:47 AM on January 28, 2002


...we will be boycotting every product shown on those stations.

Personally, out of that list, I only patronize the KFC... and that is only sporatically. I signed the petition anyways.

down with the man.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:53 AM on January 28, 2002


Arrrgh! Family Guy is the only show that I could count on to get a laugh. That 80s Show? Please.
posted by Dilly!! at 12:16 PM on January 28, 2002


I really like Family Guy, but these petitions are stupid. If a program does not get ratings, it shouldn't be on tv. It's a business not a charity.

This is coming from someone who loved, loved Sports Night and the about-to-be-cancelled Undeclared.
posted by owillis at 12:30 PM on January 28, 2002


Comedy Central should pick up Family Guy. unfortunately they only really have a history of picking shows that have already died (The Critic, etc). It would be nice if FG could continue over there.
posted by manero at 1:13 PM on January 28, 2002


and most episodes feature a joke that plays off racial/cultural stereotypes that sometimes is a little off.

This is one reason why I LIKED Family Guy so much. They weren't afraid to be politically incorrect, which is why it's going to be cancelled. Hmm....I smell the evil handiwork of Jesse Jackson!!!
posted by Sal Amander at 1:16 PM on January 28, 2002


FOX is retarded. This show had more wit than current Simpsons episodes. My biggest gripe with the Simpsons is how unsubtle the jokes have become. It's annoying how many of the show's jokes are now thrown at the viewer, rather than allowing the viewer to dissect a joke and earn the right to laugh at it. It's like they're chanting, "Get it?" after each gag.

Ah, yes, those Halloween episodes were the best by far.

I even like Malcolm in the Middle.

In my opinion, they should do away with The X-Files and replace it with Futurama/Family Guy. I say air that nerd show on Friday or Saturday nights when it's going to fill its demographic.
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:19 PM on January 28, 2002


This is one reason why I LIKED Family Guy so much. They weren't afraid to be politically incorrect, which is why it's going to be cancelled. Hmm....

I didn't want to imply that all the FG's politically incorrect humor was bad, I like that they show the ridiculousness of racism and p.c. thinking from time to time. It's just that, especially early on, it was done in a clumsy way that wasn't funny, it was just mean.
posted by mathowie at 1:30 PM on January 28, 2002


It's a business not a charity.

No one's saying it's not. (We'll get into the PBS/NPR debate some other time.) I'd just say to FOX, give it a chance. There are many factors external to the quality of the show that affect it, such as poor marketing. Please note the poor ratings of both Seinfeld and Cheers in their first years. It was good business to allow those shows time to develop and put them in a relatively consistant time-slot. The people who program these networks are short-sighted and unwilling to take risks on anything that won't make them moola immediately. Programmers often can't see the forest for the trees, so if this petition actually catches anyone's attention, then it might do some good.
posted by thebigpoop at 1:31 PM on January 28, 2002


And I'd agree with out, mathowie: I watched the first few episodes and they stank ass. But my belly ached from laughter after that 2-hour marathon. Save Stewie!
posted by thebigpoop at 1:32 PM on January 28, 2002


I really like Family Guy, but these petitions are stupid. If a program does not get ratings, it shouldn't be on tv. It's a business not a charity.

You're right that it's not a charity, owillis, but I disagree that the petitions are worthless. 100 very loyal fans--who'll watch every week, and won't flip during commercials--can be more valuable than 500 casual viewers.

The problem is that the networks are not structured to appeal to the fringes of its audience. In their eyes, everything has to fit into a very marketing scheme, or it's thrown out the window. It doesn't have to be that way.

How many channels are available on your local digital cable system? And how many are being used for valuable programming? It's a new age, and if the Big Four can't learn to break out of their old business frameworks, cable will eat their lunch. FG being picked up by Comedy Central, would be just another step toward that end.
posted by jpoulos at 1:38 PM on January 28, 2002


That 80s Show? Please.

Do you mean That 70's Show?
posted by hugsnkisses at 1:41 PM on January 28, 2002


Having just bought the Season 1 DVD yesterday (which seems to consist of all of Season 1 and half of Season 2) I am obviously disappointed by Fox's decision. Don't they realise the kudos that can be gained as a network from having shows that are really good, even if their ratings aren't astronomical?

The big problem I had with F.G. was that the lead character... had absolutely no heart

Ah, but he's just the decoy lead character. At the end of the day, it's all about Stewie. Episodes that really stand out are those where he's allowed to shine (such as his 1st birthday and the roadtrip to find Brian's mother). All that is left to say is:

I claim this thread in the name of incisor.
posted by MUD at 1:48 PM on January 28, 2002


That '80s Show... You guess what comes next.
posted by MUD at 1:51 PM on January 28, 2002


REMEMBER THE 80S?! REMEMBER HOW KOOKY THE 80S WERE?! REMEMBER THAT?! IN HINDSIGHT IT'S SOOOO FUNNY! REMEMBER HOW WE TALKED ON BIG CELLPHONES AND NOW THE CELLPHONES ARE SMALL?! REMEMBER THAT?! AND WE WERE ALL SOOOO GREEDY! IT'S SO FUNNY NOW!
posted by geoff. at 2:11 PM on January 28, 2002


They've done this before, and they'll do it again. Family Guy has been on and off the air for 3 or 4 years now. They just put out 6 to 8 new episodes, and then take it off the air every year around this time, like clockwork.

It may just be because I happen to live in Rhode Island, and I get all the inside jokes (Buddy Ciancie Jr. High, no black people in Barrington, various URI and Brown jokes), but I think the show is fucking great.

You just need to have watched a lot of TV in the 80's, and live in Rhode Island to fully appriciate the brilliance of the show.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:13 PM on January 28, 2002


"That 80s Show? Please.

Do you mean That 70's Show?
"
You havent been watching the adds.

There is a That 80s Show now.
You can watch both...
posted by Iax at 2:28 PM on January 28, 2002


*sniffle* DAMNIT! I want my Family Guy! I love that kid's accent.. I want to learn that accent. Anyone know where I can? The child's accent is simply beautiful.
posted by spidre at 2:47 PM on January 28, 2002


That 80s Show, when it debuted last week, surpassed Titus as the biggest turd on TV. (And I like That 70s Show.)
posted by jpoulos at 3:02 PM on January 28, 2002


spidre, according to the official website Stewie "has the voice and manner of an evil Rex Harrison". He's got quite a lengthy filmography so I guess it's time to get watching. Once you've achieved a perfect Rex, simply turn him to the dark side and the voice of Stewie shall be yours. All yours. [Insert maniacal laughter here]
posted by MUD at 3:21 PM on January 28, 2002


I feel like The Family Guy really was a guilty pleasure; so much so that it caused the show's cancelation.

I can name more than a few people (including many mature adults, like my grandfather) who don't like to admit that they like the show. How many of these people do you think lied on the ratings polls networks conduct?
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:51 PM on January 28, 2002


I love the way Stewie says "Victory is mine!"
posted by riffola at 4:30 PM on January 28, 2002


I feel ancient, seeing "That 80s Show" ads. I guess I'll feel decrepit when "That 90s Show" comes on. The horror....The horror!
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:30 PM on January 28, 2002


REMEMBER THE 80S?! REMEMBER HOW KOOKY THE 80S WERE?! REMEMBER THAT?! IN HINDSIGHT IT'S SOOOO FUNNY! REMEMBER HOW WE TALKED ON BIG CELLPHONES AND NOW THE CELLPHONES ARE SMALL?! REMEMBER THAT?! AND WE WERE ALL SOOOO GREEDY! IT'S SO FUNNY NOW!

posted by geoff. at 2:11 PM PST on January 28


funniest. post. ever.

You know, when they were put in the witness protection plan, in the deep south... I almost wet myself at the whole General Lee stationwagon bit. (I said almost)
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 4:34 PM on January 28, 2002


Family Guy was good. Not The Simpsons good, but good. Leaner, meaner, ruder, cruder. An order of magnitude better than Futurama or King of the Hill, which usually border on unwatchable for me.

And Stewie is a classic. Almost as good as the Brain.
posted by rushmc at 5:15 PM on January 28, 2002


Hmm...do you think SHE really likes the show?

5067.
Wendy Whoppers
Me and my sexy girlfriends LOVE Family Guy. Come to my website and see me and Rachel watch Family Guy naked!
http://www.[withheld to deny traffic, but you can figure it out if you really want to].com
posted by rushmc at 5:19 PM on January 28, 2002


My wife will be very happy. She hated the show, and just rolled her eyes whenever I laughed out loud, which was often.
posted by braun_richard at 7:56 PM on January 28, 2002


sjc said
The Family Guy, though, is just mean.

Good to know I'm not the only one. Anytime I'd catch it on it just struck me as trying to hard to make me like it. But lots of friends of mine are gonna be bummed about this. Comedy Central seems like a natural fit for it though. Maybe they can save it for the die-hards.
posted by artlung at 10:43 PM on January 28, 2002


damn. I liked Family Guy. Especially Stewie, Stewie is one of the greatest characters ever. The comparison to the Brain is cool.

I used to have a major Wednesday watching Family Guy tradition with a friend of mine, though that tradition rather died around when it moved to Thursday (though perhaps not consequently).
posted by dagnyscott at 7:06 AM on January 29, 2002


I believe Chris Ware sued the Family Guy over the Stewie character's similarity to young Jimmy Corrigan and the smartest kid dealings. Anyone know how that turned out?
posted by thirteen at 8:22 AM on January 29, 2002


And John Kricfalusi (of Ren and Stimpy fame) accused Trey Parker and Matt Stone (of South Park fame) of stealing his idea for the "Hankey the Christmas Poo" character.

Those wacky animators!
posted by Fofer at 9:02 AM on January 29, 2002


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