After staging a comeback from the depths of cancellation, Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy has managed to survive and thrive into its tenth season which premiere earlier this fall and tomorrow night the FOX animated sitcom will air its 200th episode. MacFarlane is acknowledging the milestone with a special episode titled “Yug Ylimaf” in which Brian fiddles with Stewie’s time machine and accidentally causes time to run in reverse. The logline spills that “he and Stewie must figure out how to restore the forward progress of time before Stewie is unborn.” The episode will relive a bunch of classic moments in Family Guy in reverse, including the unforgettable ipecac barf gag. Following the landmark 200th episode, FOX will air a half-hour retrospective called “200 Episodes Later” that includes a behind-the-scenes look at the long-running series and interviews with MacFarlane, producers, and the voice cast.
Sneak a peek at the one-hour Family Guy event set to air this Sunday at 9PM on FOX in the video embedded above.
Here are Comic Con panel highlights from a couple of Seth Macfarlane cartoons and that one from Matt Groening.
- The panel kicked off with a revealing clip that shared a bunch of upcoming story lines involving the Griffins and their friends. Ready, set…
- Meg turns 18 and Quagmire hits on her; Brian takes shrooms and goes on a crazy trip; Stewie and Brian travel back in time to the pilot episode (the original crappy animation is still in tact; “It’s very “All Good Things” for you Star Trek fans,” Macfarlane says); a new Viewer Mail episode is in the pipeline; somebody tries to kill Chris; Stewie runs away from home and lives with the housekeeper Consuela; Stewie drives; Lois kidnaps a kid; Peter gets in a tussle with the Amish; Peter embarks on a road trip with Joe, Quagmire, and Cleveland; Peter and Quagmire get arrested by Joe.
- So many guest voices next season and they include: Ricky Gervais (he’ll voice a dolphin), Cate Blanchett, Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick, and Mark Harmon.
- Macfarlane confirmed that a Family Guy movie is happening. It’s just a matter of when. “We’ve actually had meetings about it, which makes it real,” he said. The team is trying to figure out how to keep spitting out quality episodes and work on the feature film at the same time. The Simpsons managed to do it, so I have full faith Macfarlane and co. will get it done.
- Macfarlane and the Family Guy voice actors spotted the American Sign Language interpreter during the panel and took advantage of him by forcing him to sign all kinds of curse words and foul situations. Funny stuff, but the joke was stretched out far too long (as FG jokes tend to do, also).
- The Simpsons kicks off its 23rd season this September, can you believe it?! The 500th episode (!) falls on February 19.
- A bit from this year’s “Treehouse of Horror” was shown; it features Ned Flanders in a wonderful parody of the Dexter opening credits.
- The other clip shown was from an episode in NMA-style animation (that’s the Taiwanese company that produces CGI reenactments of popular news stories).
- In last season’s finale Marge urged viewers to vote on whether or not Ned Flanders and Mrs. Krabappel should be together. The producers promise that the issue will be laid to rest in the premiere. If they end up together (and they likely will), Groening promises that their relationship will stay consistent in all future episodes. Groening himself admitted that he’s pro-Nedna since Ned deserves love and “Bart deserves his teacher living next door.”
- The Simpsons family is traveling to the one continent they haven’t been to yet: Antarctica.
- In the end, Lisa will end up with Milhouse. “I don’t know how the show will end or when, but in my heart, I think they’re going to be together,” shared producer Al Jean.
- Check out this list of guest stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Andy Garcia, John Rivers, Jane Lynch, Jonah Hill, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric, Neil Gaiman, Gordon Ramsay, Armie Hammer, Michael Cera, and Jeremy Irons (he’ll voice Mo’s bar rag). Also, they’ll be using audio from a 1918 President Theodore Roosevelt speech in an episode where we find out Superintendent Chalmers’ hero is Teddy. Said Jean, “I thought, ‘Finally! We can put a president in the show. And a good one too. We’re going to give him a little credit at the end.”
- When asked if we’ll ever see the Simpsons age, Groening replied “we may do it when we run out of ideas. That may be the last sad season of The Simpsons. Bart will turn 11.”
- Though the voice cast (including Seth Macfarlane) came out for the panel, the bulk of it was taken up by the screening of the season 7 premiere episode “Hot Water.” Cee-Lo Green guest stars as a singing maniacal hot tub and Asa Taccone (brother of SNL’s Jorma) wrote the music. Michael Peña (Crash) guest stars as the hot tub salesman. So that they could screen in the episode in its entirety, the first half of the episode was screened in black and white storyboard format as per FOX’s request. Watching this was pretty neat, actually. Character movements are not fluid, but you can really see all the hard work that the animators put into making an episode. Eventually a refreshing splash of color was introduced and the episode played out like we’re used to. Overall, the premiere is a solid episode. Cee-Lo croons over catchy Asa-produced beats throughout, and the story involving a hot tub with a mind of its own getting in-between Stan and Francine’s relationship works well.
- During the season there’ll be an episode where a ship from outer space comes to get Roger; in it Shannon Sharpe will voice an alien bounty hunter.
- Other guest voices include Dr. Dawg and Charles Barkley.
- There will be plenty of musical numbers sprinkled throughout the season, too.
Well at least there’s one network that’s confident in their primetime lineup. The execs at FOX have greenlit the following shows to return for the fall 2011-12 season: House will return for it’s eighth and likely last season; Bones will be entering its seventh season; and Seth MacFarlane’s cartoons Family Guy and The Cleveland Show will continue to shine on Animation Domination Sunday, each entering their tenth and fourth seasons, respectively. These programs will join the previously renewed Fringe and American Dad on the network next season. FOX president of entertainment Kevin Reilly had a few words to say about the return of all these shows.
“Over the past seven seasons, House has redefined the medical drama and has given us one of television’s most compelling and iconic characters. From the producers to the incredible writers to the unbelievably talented cast and crew, the Houseteam is fearless in its creativity and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next year.”
“Bones is creatively fresh, it’s a rock-solid player every time it airs and this season it has helped us win on Thursday nights for the first time in our history. Hart Hanson and the fantastic cast and crew, as well as the millions of loyal Bones fans, make this show really special, and I’m excited to have it on our air for another stellar season.”
“For nine seasons, our viewers have been cracked up, delighted, surprised and, at times, gloriously disturbed by the mind of Seth MacFarlane – and they keep coming back for more. The Griffins and the Browns have become cornerstones of our Sunday nights, and we can’t wait to find out what new adventures Seth, Mike and Rich cook up for them next season.”
Need your animation fix? The Simpsons (8pm), The Cleveland Show (8:30pm), and Family Guy (9pm) premiere tonight (9/26) on FOX!
In “Elementary School Musical”, Lisa goes to performing arts camp where she meets friends (voiced by Glee‘s Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Amber Riley) and artsy counselors (Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords). The 22nd season of The Simpsons will be jam packed with guest voices.
In “Harder, Better, Faster, Browner”, Cleveland helps struggling rapper Kenny (aka Kanye) West by encouraging him to record a new hit single. Get a taste of “Be-Cleve in Yourself” here. The episode also packs other Kanye references including a humorous nod to the Swift incident and a montage backed by Late Registration‘s “Touch the Sky.”
The one-hour Family Guy premiere “And Then There Were Fewer” plays out like a cinematic murder-mystery in a case of whodunit. James Woods invites virtually all of Quohag to his ominous mansion where all the light drama unfolds. Fun fact: Family Guy has finally gone HD this season!
Glance at the premiere stills above, and get ready for three hours of animation domination tonight on FOX. (American Dad fans–your show premieres next Sunday, October 3).
Family Guy has already parodied Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope with “Blue Harvest.” MacFarland and company are back at it again, this time spoofing Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back with “Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side.” It releases on DVD and Blu-Ray on December 22 on FOX.
DESCRIPTION: “The saga continues as Luke (Chris), Leia (Lois), Han Solo (Peter) and Chewbacca (Brian) have evaded the dreaded Imperial Starfleet led by the cunning, conniving and curiously short evil lord Darth Vader (Stewie), setting up a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth. With the rebellion in trouble, young Skywalker must take the advice of his late, and rather lascivious, mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert) and learn the ways of the farce under Jedi Master Yoda (Carl) to save the galaxy once and for all.”