In the past two years, MacFarlane has directed his first feature, released an album of jazz standards and hosted the Academy Awards (to some controversy, of course), all while providing his voice talent and creative direction to three animated Fox comedies. Now, however, it seems that one of those shows may be on its way out.
According to The Wrap, The Cleveland Show will likely be canceled, as Fox has yet to order new episodes of the Family Guy spin-off. The series remains the only MacFarlane-produced show that has not been renewed for next season (the other two being Family Guy and American Dad).
It should be noted that Fox has been known in the past to pull animated series (including King of the Hill and Family Guy) from its schedule, only to have them return to the air later in the season. However, the Animation Guild – representing the show's artists – has already announced via its blog that The Cleveland Show will end with season 4 this May, making its cancellation seemingly inevitable at this point.
This doesn't necessarily mean that fans have seen the last of Cleveland Brown (and his "happy mustache face"). Should Fox officially cancel the series, it's quite likely that he could return to Family Guy and bring along other Cleveland Show characters. Mike Henry (who provides the voice of Cleveland) has remained a consistent performer on Family Guy throughout its run, bringing to life a number of recurring characters, including creepy old Herbert and Consuela the maid.
In fact, Cleveland's potential return could provide a bit of a boost to Family Guy. Cleveland, Peter, Joe and Quagmire frequently shared storylines in earlier seasons, and the dynamic at their favorite bar, The Drunken Clam, hasn't quite been the same since the spin-off began. Besides, Family Guy – much like its progenitor, The Simpsons – prides itself on offering viewers numerous wacky recurring characters. Why not add the cast of The Cleveland Show into the fold?
As far as MacFarlane's career, the end of The Cleveland Show might actually prove to be a good thing, as he already has numerous TV and film projects in various stages of development. In addition to his current Fox series, MacFarlane is developing a live-action comedy series for the network with Ted writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, a Ted sequel and western comedy A Million Ways to Die (starring Liam Neeson, Giovanni Ribisi and possibly Oscar winner Charlize Theron).
Are you disappointed to see The Cleveland Show fade into television history, or would you prefer MacFarlane devote his focus to other projects? Let us know in the comments section below.
The Cleveland Show airs (for now, at least) on Sundays @7:30pm on Fox.