Family Guy is an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian. The show is set in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island, and exhibits much of its humor in the form of cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture.
The family was conceived by MacFarlane after developing two animated films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. MacFarlane redesigned the films' protagonist, Larry, and his dog, Steve, and renamed them Peter and Brian, respectively. MacFarlane pitched a seven-minute pilot to Fox on 15 May 1998. The show was given the green light and started production. Shortly after the third season of Family Guy had aired in 2001, Fox canceled the series, putting the series to a two-year hiatus. However, favorable DVD sales and high ratings for syndicated reruns on Adult Swim convinced the network to renew the show in 2004 for a fourth season, which began airing 1 May 2005.
It has been nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy Awards and 11 Annie Awards, and has won three of each. In 2009, it was nominated for an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, the first time an animated series was nominated for the award since The Flintstones in 1961. The show has also received criticism, including unfavorable comparisons to The Simpsons.
Many tie-in media have been released, including Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, a straight-to-DVD special released in 2005; Family Guy: Live in Vegas, a soundtrack-DVD combo released in 2005, featuring music from the show as well as original music created by MacFarlane and Walter Murphy; a video game and pinball machine, released in 2006 and 2007, respectively; since 2005, six books published by Harper Adult based on the Family Guy universe; and Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy (2010), a series of parodies of the original Star Wars trilogy. In 2008, MacFarlane confirmed that the cast was interested in producing a feature film and that he was working on a story for a film adaptation.
A spin-off series, The Cleveland Show, featuring Cleveland Brown, aired from 27 September 2009 to 19 May 2013. "The Simpsons Guy", a crossover episode with The Simpsons, aired on 28 September 2014. The show is a joint production by Fuzzy Door Productions and 20th Century Fox Television and syndicated by 20th Television.
- Phil LaMarr, Debra Wilson and Fred Willard have voiced recurring or guest characters for extended periods on the show.
- Drew Carey, Charlie Sheen and Hugh Hefner have done voice-overs performing as animated versions of themselves.
- Ricky Gervais also did an voice-over in one episode.