As the FOX network's hit animated series Family Guy gets ready for season 17 this fall, the 20th Century Fox studio is developing a Family Guy movie that would combine the show's traditional animation format with live-action elements. While the fate of the studio as a whole remains in limbo - due to the impending merger with Disney that is expected to be complete by next year - that clearly isn't stopping them from pursuing new projects.
After a rocky start to the series, which included the show being canceled after its third season, Family Guy became a staple of Fox's Sunday night animated lineup, which would later be called "Animation Domination." While the show's spinoff The Cleveland Show only ran for four seasons, Family Guy has continued to endure. Despite the show having delivered consistently good ratings for years, those numbers have slid significantly over the past five seasons, dropping from an average of 6.11 million viewers in Season 12 to an average of 2.4 million viewers in Season 16. While no formal plans have been announced by the studio, it's possible that a movie may represent the last hurrah for the long-running animated program.
Wall Street Journal's report about Fox's Family Guy movie plans doesn't include any plot details, nor does it confirm any cast members. It seems likely that the voice cast members from the show would return, such as series creator Seth MacFarlane (Peter Griffin, Brian Griffin, Stewie Griffin), Alex Borstein (Lois Griffin), Mila Kunis (Meg Griffin), Seth Green (Chris Griffin), Mike Henry (Cleveland Brown) and Patrick Warburton (Joe Swanson). Since the movie is believed to have a live-action component, it'll be interesting to see if any of these voice actors will play different live-action roles in front of the camera.
The report also reveals that 20th Century Fox is eyeing a big-screen adaptation of Bob's Burgers, along with a second movie from The Simpsons, following the 2007 big-screen hit The Simpsons Movie. Still, there may not be much of a future for these projects if the Disney-Fox merger goes through, since the 20th Century Fox studio looks set to be significantly downsized. Current CEO Stacey Snider is expected to leave the studio when the merger is finalized, with Disney expected to distribute all 20th Century Fox movies that are either complete or in production when the merger becomes official.
Family Guy's cast and crew revealed at SDCC that the upcoming Season 17 will feature an episode that centers on Donald Trump and fake news, which could very well provide a boost in the ratings for the long-running animated series. It remains to be seen if Family Guy's TV production will be affected by the Disney-Fox merger, but if plans are put in pace for a movie, and production doesn't begin by the time the merger is finalized, Disney could very well put the kibosh on this live-action/animation hybrid before it even gets started.
Family Guy season 17 premieres September 30 on FOX.
Source: The Wall Street Journal