'Family Guy,' 'American Dad!'
Resume: A former animator, MacFarlane created “Family Guy” after a short of his caught the attention of Fox execs. The cult series was resurrected from cancellation by strong DVD sales and cable ratings. MacFarlane followed up “Family Guy” with a second toon series, “American Dad!” and a short-lived live-action comedy series, “The Winner.” MacFarlane won Emmys for voice-over performance and music & lyrics on “Family Guy,” which has three nominations for outstanding animated program.
What shows have influenced your career: “Certainly for what I do on a practical basis, ‘The Simpsons’ has been an influence. As far as comedy, I was always big Woody Allen fan growing up, I was a big Jackie Gleason fan and certainly you see a great deal of that in Peter. And I thought ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ was just about one of the greatest comedy shows ever produced, in addition to ‘All in the Family.’ ”
Most difficult aspect of being a producer: “It’s not so much one thing, it’s really the enormous onslaught of neverending tasks that need to be performed. With television there’s never enough time to do what needs to be done and you’re constantly pushing yourself to make each week better.”
When do you find the time to write: “It is something that’s accounted for in the schedule. It’s a very, very important part of the process. I do like to stay as involved as possible, but I will say that on both ‘Family Guy’ and ‘American Dad!,’ there are very, very talented writing staffs that do make it all possible.”
Favorite shows besides your own: “I’m very sad that ‘The Sopranos’ is ending. I love that show. Probably my favorite show on the air right now is ‘Real Time With Bill Maher.’ I almost wish it was on a network and more people could see it because it’s sort of an oasis of logic and reason.”
Personal gratification: “It is very rewarding to experience such a level of specificity as far as the fans’ knowledge of the lexicon of the series. They don’t miss a thing. And it makes all the minutia, all the little nitpicking you do on a weekly basis worthwhile.”