Who knew killing off the family pet could cause such a stir?
Seth MacFarlane — the whiskey drinking, big band singing creator of Fox mega-hit FAMILY GUY — says he was shocked by the reaction from fans when he briefly killed off beloved talking dog Brian last month.
“We were all very surprised — in a good way — that people still care enough about that character to be that angry,” he told me today at the Television Critics press tour in Pasadena.
“It just didn’t occur to us. We thought maybe there would be a little bit of a stir, but the rage was not something we had counted on.”
Seth cooked the whole scheme up about 16 months ago with Fox programming boss Kevin Reilly.
“It is season 12,” he said. “At this point you can either sit back and live on autopilot or you can try to mix it up and surprise people. And that is all we were trying to do — just surprise the audience and show them that anything can still happen.”
Seth says the stunt ultimately drew in new viewers and “did what it was designed to do which was remind people that this is still a show where anything can happen despite the fact that it has been on for a while.”
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