There might be a God, and he might have a great sense of humor
November 19, 2003 11:36 PM   Subscribe

Fox is considering renewing Family Guy. "As many as 35 new episodes could premiere in January 2005, according to the Fox spokesperson, which would mark the first time a canceled series has been revived on the strength of its DVD sales and syndication ratings. "
posted by XQUZYPHYR (46 comments total)
 
Okay, I love FG, but I'm thrilled about this from an animation-industry angle as well. Aside from FG being a great show, it's amazing to hear that DVD sales can actually influence bringing a show back to life. It's even more amazing that media review is actually acknowledging the interest in adult audiences for cartoons. Cartoon Network, which airs the FG reruns late-night, has an annual operating budget that's likely less than the production cost for a single episode of a newtork sitcom. The impact of a network seeing how such a niche can be profitable is HUGE for the adult animation market in this country.

Personally, if I had the money I'd buy a million copies if I thought this could work for Invader ZIM.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:44 PM on November 19, 2003


Haha. Now that fox is noticing how good Family Guy is, they want to buy it back. I guess "When you wish upon a weinstein" didnt piss the jewish owners of Fox when it comes to money.

(That's why they got banned in the first place: An episode where Peter Griffin wants to find a jewish person because he thinks they're good with money, and then they try to get their son to be jewish. Hilarity ensues.)
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:56 PM on November 19, 2003


Invader Zim was treated horribly. I'm looking forward to the DVD release next year though - although what will happen to the lost episodes (40 were made)?

More info on it here at Room with a Moose.

Wasn't there also word of a Family Guy movie? I need to dig out my DVDs.. :)
posted by Mossy at 11:57 PM on November 19, 2003


I'd buy a million copies if I thought this could work for Invader ZIM

At the 19.95 million pricetag (or 10 million pricetag because you are buying the million DVD's in bulk) I'm betting you could just hire the writers and animation crew *AND* get whatever storyline you wanted done. Many, many times over.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:03 AM on November 20, 2003


Now if only Duckman can come back.
posted by birdherder at 12:07 AM on November 20, 2003


Dude, I was totally geared up to come into this thread and harsh on Family Guy. It's so overrated it makes me grind my teeth. But... then I read what XQUZYPHYR wrote about this being a great thing that cancelled shows can be considered for resurrection due to their syndication and DVD performance, and while I still loathe Family Guy, I am pretty unambiguously unexcited by this news. I can totally not watch the show if it returns and be happy, if it means some other show I like returns from the dead.
posted by evinrude at 12:25 AM on November 20, 2003


duckman, with original writers.
posted by Keyser Soze at 12:45 AM on November 20, 2003


Er... I mean that I'm unambiguously excited. wow, that's a huge error. yipes.
posted by evinrude at 1:02 AM on November 20, 2003


Dude, Futurama is the Deep Space Nine of Fox animated shows.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:30 AM on November 20, 2003


I've never particularly liked Family Guy, but it's great news for all their fans. I just hope (in vain, most likely) that Fox will do the same for Futurama...
posted by adrianhon at 1:56 AM on November 20, 2003


I was sorry to see "Karen Sisco" stopped and postponed. it's good. and Carla Gugino kicks serious ass
posted by matteo at 2:52 AM on November 20, 2003


...the jewish owners of Fox...

Since when is Rupert Murdoch is Jewish???
posted by PenDevil at 3:25 AM on November 20, 2003


PenDevil - Well, he's just so good with money.
posted by troutfishing at 3:39 AM on November 20, 2003


Duckman...

Firefly...

Farscape...
posted by Blue Stone at 4:09 AM on November 20, 2003


The Critic!!!
posted by PrinceValium at 4:40 AM on November 20, 2003


Duckula?
posted by signal at 5:18 AM on November 20, 2003


Ditto on Firefly and Futurama. I wish it would work for these two. A lot.

Hopefully this just won't be with Family Guy. Now the word is out maybe fans can actually influence TV execs on when a show really dies. What a concept.
posted by evening at 5:38 AM on November 20, 2003


Fox did air some unaired Futurama episodes this year.
posted by riffola at 5:51 AM on November 20, 2003


so does this mean we can finally see whether angela chase ends up with brian krackauer or jordan catalano?
posted by pxe2000 at 5:51 AM on November 20, 2003


Blue Stone: It's thought that a 4 hour Farscape miniseries is on the verge of being announced, to wrap up the story. Again, I never liked Farscape but I know what it's like to have one of your favourite shows cut down in its prime...

Riffola: That's true, but they stopped producing new ones some time ago.
posted by adrianhon at 6:15 AM on November 20, 2003


Maybe strong DVD sales can even influence the production company to make more episodes and just put them out straight to DVD. If it makes sense business-wise (i.e. it makes a profit) why not cut out the middle-Fox and go straight to the fans? They'll buy 'em.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:00 AM on November 20, 2003


Too bad it's too late for this to happen to Sports Night.
posted by UKnowForKids at 7:00 AM on November 20, 2003


...or Mr. Show, for that matter. (Although the strong DVD sales did convince the studio to release the Bob-and-David-hated cut of Run Ronnie Run, a mixed blessing at best.)
posted by UKnowForKids at 7:02 AM on November 20, 2003


They really, really need to bring Farscape back. The problem is that the DVD's are really expensive and only the hardcore fans will purchase them.

Maybe a show could be resurrected through popularity on Bit Torrent?
posted by McBain at 7:36 AM on November 20, 2003


Sports Night - that was one of the greatest shows ever. sniff. sniff.
posted by evening at 7:43 AM on November 20, 2003


McBain -- I think that's exactly what's happenning to drive the DVD releases in the first place. The Critic, for instance, is also being reissued as a dvd box set... perhaps due to the availability of all the episodes online. How long before we see a Sealab 2021 dvd release?

Personally, I think this is kind of rad. To prevent piracy, they've started releasing high quality sets... which is all the pirates probably wanted anyway.

BTW - go out and buy the Aqua Teen Hunger Force box... it's pretty darn awesome.
posted by ph00dz at 7:48 AM on November 20, 2003


Space:Above and Beyond
Coincidentally (or not) also a Fox show. One whose cancellation I have been lamenting these many years.(As all my friends hear whenever a network comes up with yet another chunk of malodorous cheese).
posted by Octaviuz at 7:58 AM on November 20, 2003


ph00dz- I guess I'm not following you. My point was that the Farscape DVD's are particularly expensive among television DVD releases. A season of Buffy with 22 episodes is $60. A season of Farscape is $100 or more for 22 episodes. The Family Guy is enjoying strong sales, but a season goes for what, $30? That is impulse buy range.
posted by McBain at 8:01 AM on November 20, 2003


The cartoon I wish would be put on DVD (or better yet, brought back to life) is The Tick.
posted by O9scar at 8:06 AM on November 20, 2003


Ah... I gotcha, McBain. The Law and Order season 1 box is the same way. Makes for a good rental, but wouldn't want to buy it.

I guess I'm not talking so much about the resurrection of shows but the continued availability of shows to watch after they've been pulled from the air.
posted by ph00dz at 8:09 AM on November 20, 2003


I knew I shouldn't give up hope on the original Star Trek. Can't wait!
posted by soyjoy at 8:12 AM on November 20, 2003


There's been a lot of good news for the "Shows That Never Should've Been Cancelled" lately, with SciFi ponying up to rebuild the 'Farscape' sets to do 4 more eps, Fox Studios working with Joss Whedon on a 'Firefly' movie, and the 'Family Guy' story. I thoroughly expect good news about 'Futurama' any day now. Now, what is it about TV shows whose titles start with the letter 'F'? Does that mean, after all these years, I can still hold out hope for "Freakazoid"? (Nah, with my luck they'll revive 'Felicity' first)
posted by wendell at 8:38 AM on November 20, 2003


If you're going to resurrect shows that *can* be resurrected (sigh, Bablyon 5), my first option would be the original, kickass Johnny Quest (not the lame sequel), with the same philosophy.

Really evil, stereotypically foreign villains, real animals, death, real monsters (not the series, though that's a thought), harsh black ink illustrations, space age design, etc.

How NOT to do it: Scooby Doo. The first series had the kids *disproving* monsters and fakes. More or less, they were scientific investigators. All downhill from there, with real blah, blah ghosts and goblins and crap. Don't give up the philosophy.
posted by kablam at 8:56 AM on November 20, 2003


So when can I pick up my "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" or "A Minute with Stan Hooper" DVDs?
posted by Gary at 9:14 AM on November 20, 2003


(wendell) Now, what is it about TV shows whose titles start with the letter 'F'?

There was the same "cancelled too early" buzz about Freaks and Geeks. Don't think I ever saw it, but I read about it at teevee.org

I would love to see Futurama back on the air (and not on Sunday nights during NFL season, thankyouverymuch). Ironically, Tivo and Comedy Central (several Futurama episodes per week) have diminished my need to seek out the season 2 DVD... and marginally decrease its chances for being renewed.

I, too, would welcome a Jonny Quest revival. "The Invisible Monster" was one of the best episodes of any cartoon ever.
posted by kurumi at 10:06 AM on November 20, 2003


Yes, Freaks & Geeks rounds out the F shows. One of my other all time favorites. Undeclared was on at the same time and got cancelled too.

Andy Ricther, that was good, too. Quirky, different. Not the same old crap.

Someone mentioned B5, which reminds me of Crusade, the spin-off. Just when it started being good and having momentum it was gone :(

Over the years the disappointment of cancelled shows has made me want to watch new shows less and less. Firefly's cancellation was the straw that broke my heart and made me hate TV execs for good.

I mean, how is that the predictable, formulaic shows that aren't interesting or funny come on to replace the ones that are different, actually interesting and def. more funny? It's one of life's mysteries.
posted by evening at 11:17 AM on November 20, 2003


Interesting email I just got:
somebody asked about Sealab 2021 dvd's

I'm the head designer for Sealab, the season 1 DVD's are due sometime after december, then a season 2 if the sales "meet expectations.
posted by mathowie at 11:36 AM on November 20, 2003


Too bad it's too late for this to happen to Sports Night.

To quote Family Guy: "I finally understand Sports Night! It's a comedy that's too good to be funny!"
posted by jbrjake at 11:50 AM on November 20, 2003


A season of Buffy with 22 episodes is $60. A season of Farscape is $100 or more for 22 episodes.

The Law and Order season 1 box is the same way.

I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but I'm a big X-Files fan, and would love to buy the DVDs, but an average of $100 - $125 a box is faaaar to much to pay, especially when I'm getting The West Wing or Buffy (also 22 1-hour eps) for under $40. I'm even content to pay $60 $70 range for CSI or Highlander (my sweetie's obsession, not mine). What is it about TXF or B5 that makes them so much more expensive for the same number of discs?

PS: You can find L&O S1 for fairly cheap if you hunt around a bit.
posted by anastasiav at 12:31 PM on November 20, 2003


Wow...I didn't even have to go to the Make a Wish foundation with my kid and say he was dying.

Who did it for me?
posted by Be'lal at 12:33 PM on November 20, 2003


I used to watch Family Guy somewhat regularly but then they switched the times back to Futurama coming on first and I just don't ever stay up to watch FG anymore. Its occasionally pretty funny and mostly just a good example of what not to look for in a father.

Its not a bad show but I'd much, much prefer more Jonny Quest!
posted by fenriq at 1:04 PM on November 20, 2003


Ditto on Firefly and Futurama. I wish it would work for these two.

Problem is that both these shows were very expensive. Family Guy had a much lower budget.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:42 PM on November 20, 2003


Sealab 2021 DVDs! Outstanding!
posted by UKnowForKids at 6:42 AM on November 21, 2003


What is it about TXF or B5 that makes them so much more expensive for the same number of discs?

Because they have rabid fan bases that can be gouged. That's it. If the studio thinks it can charge a certain high price for something because they know people will still buy it, they will.
posted by JaxJaggywires at 9:36 AM on November 21, 2003


Yep... the goal's to maximize profit. The actual product probably costs about $1 to manufacture, maybe as much as $2. Whether they sell it for $30 or $100 will depend on at what price point they predict the maximum profit will be made. If you lower the price more people will buy it, but will enough more people buy it to make up in volume for the lower per-unit profit? That's all there is to it.
posted by kindall at 10:24 AM on November 21, 2003


and yet they still haven't cancelled the simpsons...

personally, i would have traded a few extra seasons of family guy/futurama for a few less of the simpsons. it pains me to watch the simpsons get more and more mediocre with each passing season.

oh how the mighty have fallen...

even so, the simpsons is still the greatest show to ever have graced the tv screen.
posted by joedan at 4:32 PM on November 21, 2003


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