Twentieth Television and Tribune Broadcasting Close Off-Net Syndication Agreement on Hit Sitcom “Family Guy”
Twentieth Television has cleared Seth MacFarlane’s hit Emmy Award-winning animated sitcom “Family Guy” on the Tribune Broadcasting station group for a fall 2007 launch in off-net syndication. The announcement was jointly made today by Bob Cook, president and COO of Twentieth Television; and John Reardon, president of Tribune Broadcasting, a division of Tribune Company.
Under terms of the agreement, the series about the Griffin family (father Peter, wife Lois, their kids and a very brainy dog) that pokes fun at everyday middle-class life will premiere in 20 major markets, representing 37.8% of the United States. Tribune stations set to premiere “Family Guy” in off-net include WPIX/New York, KTLA/Los Angeles, WGN/Chicago, WPHL/Philadelphia, WLVI/Boston, KDAF/Dallas, WDCW/Washington, KHCW/Houston, KCPQ-KTWB/Seattle, WBZL/Miami, KWGN/Denver, KTXL/Sacramento, KPLR/St. Louis, KWBP/Portland, WXIN-WTTV/Indianapolis, KSWB/San Diego, WTIC-WTXX/Hartford, WXMI/Grand Rapids, WPMT/Harrisburg and WGNO-WNOL/New Orleans.
Regarding the announcement, Cook stated, “We are very pleased to have entered into this agreement on ‘Family Guy’ with Tribune Broadcasting. From the genius of Seth MacFarlane, ‘Family Guy’ is a pop culture phenomenon that has accomplished extraordinary popularity. We expect this success to continue during its off-net window for the Tribune station group.”
“We’re always looking to acquire engaging, high-quality programs to refresh our local lineups,” added Tribune’s Reardon. ” ‘Family Guy’ fits that description and we look forward to the show having a positive impact on ratings and revenues across our group.”
Since its debut in 1999, the Emmy Award-winning series has attracted an impressively loyal following of devoted fans and has sold nine million combined DVD units, outperforming “The Simpsons,” “South Park,” “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.” The show’s success on DVD, combined with the ratings records it set on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, prompted FOX to bring it back for a fifth season, making “Family Guy” the only series ever to return to television after being cancelled.
A multiplatform success, more than 500 “Family Guy” merchandise items have been licensed in over 10,000 consumer outlets, including such major retailers as Target, Wal-Mart and K-Mart. On the web, “Family Guy” was 2005’s third most searched television program of the year on Yahoo! and currently is the number one most downloaded cell phone television property, with 2.3 million ring tones, voice tones, wallpaper, ring backs and games downloaded to date. On stage, the hit “Family Guy Live!” events have sold out numerous performances in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
“Family Guy’s” current season, its fifth, continues with more distinctively twisted and irreverently outrageous trials and tribulations of Peter Griffin (MacFarlane) and his not-quite-so-average family. Immersed in television’s most clever storylines and scripts, Lois (Alex Borstein) is Peter’s loving wife, who struggles to maintain a modicum of normalcy in their home life. Then there are their kids: angst-ridden, 16-year-old Meg (Mila Kunis), who only really wants to get noticed; 13-year-old Chris (Seth Green), a sweet-natured slacker; and 1-year-old Stewie (MacFarlane), a diabolically clever baby who’s already bent on world domination. Rounding out the Griffin household is Brian, the family dog who has a penchant for dry martinis and Shakespearean sonnets.
In addition to the regular cast, “Family Guy” has featured a diverse range of guest voice appearances, including Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lee Majors, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Kimmel, Drew Barrymore, Kiefer Sutherland, the legendary rock group KISS, James Woods, Phyllis Diller, Robert Downey, Jr., Carol Channing, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, among others.
The program won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 2000, and in 2002 won an Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics. “Family Guy” has been nominated for Outstanding Animated Program in 2000 and 2005.
“Family Guy” is a 20th Century Fox Television production. MacFarlane is creator/executive producer and David Goodman is executive producer and show runner. Chris Sheridan also serves as executive producer.