Should ‘Family Guy’ Fans Be Worried About Fox’s Schedule Shake-up?

‘Family Guy’ will miss its usual season premiere date for the first time since Fox first canceled it
Should ‘Family Guy’ Fans Be Worried About Fox’s Schedule Shake-up?

This September will mark the first time in 19 years that Family Guy won’t be included on Fox’s fall schedule — before that, it was just canceled.

Like certain other beloved animated comedies that got their starts on Fox, Family Guy’s relationship with its parent network hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In 1999, Fox launched Seth MacFarlane’s flagship series following its coverage of Super Bowl XXXIII, drawing criticism for the decision to air such a crude cartoon in a time slot when many families were still watching TV as they put away leftover chips and dip. Over the show’s first three seasons, Fox couldn’t decide where in its lineup Family Guy belonged, awkwardly bouncing it around from time slot to time slot, before leaving it to die on Thursday nights where it was forced to contend with new episodes of Friends and Survivor

In May, 2002, Fox canceled Family Guy, only to awkwardly revive it three years later after it accrued a cult following, and MacFarlane and his writers took shots at their patron’s questionable scheduling skills in their first episode back.

Yesterday, Fox announced that it’s moving the premiere date of the upcoming 23rd season of Family Guy to midseason instead of its typical fall launch, coming off the heels of their decision to move the latter half of Season 22 episodes from Sundays to Wednesdays in order to make room for other animated shows. Family Guy fans have to wonder — is Fox really just trying to get other shows off the ground with the scheduling changes, or is it time for Hulu to start licking its chops?

“It’s still a crucial part of our (schedule),” Fox network president Michael Thorn assured reporters yesterday morning of Family Guys future, “We’ll give it a great relaunch for that part of our lineup, and we know that when it comes back on Sundays, it will resonate with our audience the way it always has.”

Crucially, Foxs entire lineup of legacy heavy-hitters in their animation block, Family Guy, The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers, are all entering the final seasons of their respective deals with the network, though Fox hasnt indicated that their contracts factored into the new schedule. Fox CEO Rob Wade says that hes “very, very happy” with those shows when asked about their future at Fox, but added that hes similarly “very, very happy” with Foxs newer offerings, which include Dan Harmons Krapopolis and the upcoming series Universal Basic Guys, which Fox has already renewed for a second season before the series premiere.

“We talk a lot about looking at the schedule in a more modern way and rather than looking simply at the traditional time slots of shows, we look at our entire portfolio," Wade further added of the animation shake-up thats pushing Family Guy further back in the schedule. Wade insisted, “We love those shows, we have a great relationship with the creatives from those shows.”

Just so long as the new schedule keeps Family Guy far away from Jeff Probst, hopefully it will have a chance at surviving the move.


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