Seth MacFarlane explains why he killed Brian
January 14th, 2014
06:55 PM ET

Seth MacFarlane explains why he killed Brian

When Seth MacFarlane decided it was time to temporarily kill off "Family Guy's" dog, Brian, he was trying to teach a lesson.

"It reminded people this is still a show where anything that can happen despite the fact it’s been on for awhile," MacFarlane explained to TV critics at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour.

With that being the goal, MacFarlane considers the stunt a mission accomplished. But what he didn't expect is for the viewers to teach him a lesson, too.

When Brian, easily one of "Family Guy's" best and most beloved characters, was hit by a car and couldn't be revived, fans lost their minds. Mourning commenced, threats were made and petitions were launched in the name of bringing back the Griffin family's dog - who, in a cruel twist, had already been replaced by another pooch named Vinnie.

The sustained outburst "surprised all of us," MacFarlane said. "We were all very surprised, in a good way, that people still cared enough about that character to be that angry. We thought it would create a little bit of a stir, but the rage wasn’t something we counted on.”

In the end, it's a lesson learned all around. "Family Guy" fans know that even the most revered characters may not be around forever, and MacFarlane knows that the dog has to stay.


Filed under: Family Guy • television

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. my name

    Don't take away a kids bff. Their a great pear together.

    January 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. a kids bff is their dog

    Don't kill off the poor kids bff! That's like taking his Teddy bear away. Plus the two together is so funny. They make the show.

    January 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chlodog

    Last I checked, HE created the show and has the right to change, remove, kill, erase, whatever, any character he wants to. The fans do not own the character, or the show or the storylines. Seth Macfarlane does. Why do people get so bent about stuff like that? Its like people want predictable. They want the mind-numbing routine. Don't like? Don't watch.

    January 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lean6

    It doesn't sound like he learned the right lesson...does it? Most of the commentary that I read were basically annoyed with what was sure to be a gimmick, or had people either saying "who cares?" or "oh well...next!"

    Similarly with The Weather Channel getting dropped from DirectTV and going on this tear about how DirectTV is putting people's lives in danger by depriving them of weather from them. I wonder if that network's owners are checking the feedback, because people have pretty much let them know that they have plenty of other and better options.

    January 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • oh please

      people watch this still?

      January 17, 2014 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      The Weather Channel is majority owned by Bain & Blackstone with NBC as a minority partner. this situation would be hilarious if I didn't know people there who will be the ones who pay the price for the arrogance/recklessness of the current owners...

      January 17, 2014 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Randy

    I'm really suprised. I didn't even realize that the show was still on.

    January 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sammy Z

      That would be because no one watches anymore. We would rather watch Futurama and Archer...and keep asking ourselves how in the world is Family Guy and The Simpsons still on the air?

      January 16, 2014 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tony

    "Family Guy" is still on?
    Who knew?

    January 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • situationalawareness

      Apparently the millions that watch it, tony...
      News flash: in a country of 350 million people there's more than one thing people like. Amazing, huh?

      January 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Clete

    Read all of the Games of Thrones books....found them boring and predictable.

    January 15, 2014 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Thomas

    You aren't supposed to hurt puppies. Especially talking ones. That Seth guy sounds mean.

    January 15, 2014 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ferdinand

    He wanted to 'teach the audience a lesson'? He wanted them to know he could do anything he wanted with the show? Narcissistic much?

    January 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Clete

    Made me wonder about Seth McFarlane. The killing off a a major character, one who many of the episodes revolved around is rarely a good idea. It leaves a gap in the story line that is difficult to fill and it angers many of the fans. What was he thinking, if he has lost interest in Family Guy, then maybe it's time for the entire show to come to an end.

    January 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      @clete : you dont watch or read much game of thrones, do you...

      January 15, 2014 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • situationalawareness

      You'll notice that there's no standard definition of doing things with Seth. I've been watching his stuff since the beginning, and the very definition of all his stuff is to push the barriers and make people uncomfortable. (Or at least try)

      January 30, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Betsy

    Well, duh. No kidding.

    January 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brian

    Are you talking to me? You know I'm a cartoon character, right? Thanks anyway, Brian

    January 17, 2014 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. *

    W T H with all these mod bot spam posts?

    January 20, 2014 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. situationalawareness

    Yes, it's a cartoon. Things happen on them that are not real.
    Kind of like movies have stuff happen that can't in real life...

    January 30, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |

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