January 14th, 2014
06:55 PM ET
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and petitions were launched in the name of bringing back the Griffin family's dog - who, in a cruel twist, had already been replaced by another pooch named Vinnie.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.
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