×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox hankering for a homer with ‘Dad’

'Family Guy' creator MacFarlane pitches new skein

The network of Homer Simpson and Hank Hill is opening its doors to a new animated patriarch.

Fox Broadcasting has ordered a pilot presentation of the tentatively titled “American Dad,” a half-hour toon laffer in the works from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane and veteran “Guy” scribes Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman. Skein will be produced by 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.”

If greenlit “American Dad” could launch as early as fall 2004.

It will serve up a 21st century toon take on “All in the Family,” focusing on a clan consisting of a right-leaning CIA agent and his wife, their two kids (including a liberal daughter), a housebound alien named Roger and a French-speaking goldfish.

As with “Family Guy,” MacFarlane plans to provide several of the character voices, in addition to enlisting other vocal talents.

Pilot presentation order comes as Fox continues to make a major push to breed the next generation of animated skeins to join still-strong toon titans “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.” In addition to the “American Dad” order, net has taken the unusual step of launching an initiative that will result in civilian scribes and comicbook geeks getting a chance to pitch execs their ideas for new animated shows (Daily Variety, Aug. 27).

“Animated comedy is a part of our brand, and has been for a long time,” said Craig Erwich, exec VP of development at Fox Broadcasting. “You’ve got to make sure you’ve got the next ones in the pipeline — not that the shows we have now are going anywhere.”

MacFarlane, Barker and Weitzman will all serve as creators and exec producers of “American Dad,” which will not shy away from political and social humor.

Political punch

“The dynamic is very much ‘All in the Family,’ with a left-wing daughter who’s constantly clashing with her father,” MacFarlane said. “It’s a great time to be doing a show like this, because it’s such a politically charged period that’s ripe for satire.”

Gary Newman, prexy of 20th Century Fox TV, points to the strong DVD sales and off-net ratings for “Family Guy” repeats as evidence that the skein struck a nerve with viewers, despite its relatively short run of three seasons.

” ‘Family Guy’ was really a breakout show in terms of its irreverence and the originality of its characters,” he said. “While it didn’t have a long-term run on Fox, it did have a successful one. And Seth proved, working with Matt and Mike, that he can create characters that resonate years later.”

Indeed, MacFarlane, Barker and Weitzman already seem to have a firm grasp on several main characters.

“The father Stan’s a pompous ass in the Ted Knight vein,” MacFarlane said.

“The family also has an alien named Roger who’s not allowed to leave the house, and as a result, sits around drinking wine and smoking cigarettes.

He’s very effeminate in a Paul Lynde sort of way. And we’ve also got a talking goldfish who’s the result of a failed CIA experiment in which they tried to place the brain of a Frenchman into the body of a fish.”

‘Family’ life

Scribe is also not giving up on “Family Guy.” Strong repeat numbers on Cartoon Network, as well as huge DVD sales, has spurred talk of some sort of revival, either through an original DVD feature or perhaps a new life on cable. MacFarlane recently created an original Stewie sketch for last month’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Meanwhile, MacFarlane, repped by Endeavor and First Entertainment, is writing the feature “Party Animals” for Fox Searchlight and is attached to direct the project.

Barker and Weitzman, repped by WMA and Jeff Frankel, are currently working on the first season of NBC’s greenlit toon skein “Father of the Pride.” Duo are also writing a frat comedy for New Line and the Weitz brothers.

More TV

  • CHAMBERS

    'Chambers' Canceled After One Season at Netflix

    Netflix has canceled the drama series “Chambers” after one season. The series followed a teenager who gets a heart transplant and becomes consumed with the mystery surrounding her donor. The series starred Uma Thurman, Tony Goldwyn, Sivan Alyra Rose, Lilliya Reid, Nicholas Galitzine, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Lilli Kay, Sarah Mezzanotte, and Griffin Powell-Arcand. Leah Rachel [...]

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    TV News Roundup: 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' to Air Live After Democratic Debates

    In today’s roundup, Trevor Noah announces two live specials after the first Democratic debates and the new season of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” sets a premiere date. SPECIALS “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will broadcast live following the Democratic Party’s first 2020 presidential primary debates on June 26 and 27 at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Samantha Bee Variety

    Samantha Bee Isn't Thrilled to Be the Last Woman Standing in Late Night

    Samantha Bee is now the only female host in late night, and that’s a stat she’s not happy about. “It’s a bit unsettling,” Bee recently told Variety. “It’s been a bad year to be a woman in this space. It’s not really a badge that I want to wear.” Shows that have been canceled over [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • The-Saddest-Goal

    Fascism and Fútbol Feature in Chilean Series Project ‘The Saddest Goal’

    PAMPLONA, Spain – Chilean production company Manufactura de Películas pitched its unconventional Pinochet-era drama “The Saddest Goal” today at Spain’s Conecta Fiction TV co-production and networking TV event, held in Pamplona. Set during qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, a period of great political instability in Chile, “The Saddest Goal” kicks off as the [...]

  • Spain’s La Claqueta, Portugal’s SPi Ink

    Conecta Fiction: La Claqueta and SPi Ink Fiction Co-Production Pact

    Spain’s Seville-based shingle La Claqueta and Portugal’s SPi have clinched a co-development agreement for three fiction projects a year. Companies first made contact at last year’s Conecta Fiction, the annual co-production meet in Spain. The companies have also pacted to co-produce the animated feature-length docu “El viaje más largo” in collaboration with Portuguese pubcaster RTP [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content