Studio signs showrunners Hentemann, Callaghan
“Family Guy” scribes Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan have sealed separate multi-year overall deals with 20th Century Fox TV to serve as the toon’s new co-showrunners.Hentemann and Callaghan replace David Goodman and Chris Sheridan, who have stepped down as showrunners but remain on “Family Guy” as exec producers. Hentemann and Callaghan will also now be executive producers; they individually also plan to develop new projects for the studio down the road. Both scribes have long histories with the show: Hentemann joined in “Family Guy’s” second season as a writer, while Callaghan has been with the show since its launch, starting out as a writers’ assistant. “Mark is part of the heart and soul of the series,” said 20th Century Fox TV chairman Gary Newman. “He’s taken on post-production duties for Seth (MacFarlane) that Seth has never let anyone else do. Seth now has the utmost confidence in Mark’s ability to post-produce the show and cut it.” As for Callaghan, Newman called the writer “an amazing success story… He could not be more loyal or more obsessed with the quality of the show. He’s earned a level of respect from Seth.” Besides “Family Guy,” Hentemann has also been busy developing the animated project “Bordertown,” which remains in contention at Fox. His credits additionally include creating MTV’s “3-South,” and working on shows such as “Run of the House” and “Off Centre.” Given the past ups and downs of “Family Guy,” which was essentially canceled twice, Callaghan said he found it “especially rewarding” to see the show finally become a major franchise — and having been there from the beginning, to have gone from underling to showrunner. Per “Family Guy” tradition, both scribes have clocked screen time voicing various characters. Callaghan has played the Cocoa Puffs bird, Pontius Pilate, the guy on the DirecTV help channel, Stewie’s fast food manager and Prince. Hentemann, meanwhile, has played Opie — Peter’s brain-damaged co-worker — as well as a studio audience ostrich. “My niche seems to be either brain damaged or mentally handicapped characters,” he said.