PASADENA, Calif. – Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane said he wouldn’t kill – and then resurrect – Brian the dog again, but not for the reasons you might think.
“Would I do it again? No, we already did it,” MacFarlane said at the Television Critics Association tour. “Who knows. Season 25?”
Social media went crazy when the beloved Brian was killed off in a very touching scene in an episode that aired earlier this season, on Nov. 24, 2013 (Fox, Global). But then two episodes later, on Dec. 15, Brian came back.
It fooled me at the time, because the scene was so moving, I thought it would stick. Anyone who ever has lost a family pet knows how acutely painful it is.
“Well, yeah, if you’re killing off a character like that, you gotta give him his due,” MacFarlane said.
But ultimately, it was a stunt. Some people were offended by having their emotions yanked around, but MacFarlane said he accomplished what he wanted to accomplish.
“I mean, the simple answer to that is, it’s what, season 12 or something like that?” MacFarlane said. “We figured it has been on long enough that at this point you can either sit back and be on auto-pilot or you can try to mix it up and try to surprise people.
“And that was all we were trying to do, we were trying to continue to surprise the audience and show them that anything still can happen on the show. And really, all it was, was a three-parter without the words, ‘To be continued’ at the end of the episode. That’s all we did, put that on, and suddenly it was this big deal.”
It seems unfathomable to me that MacFarlane wouldn’t have anticipated a huge reaction in this era when social media can galvanize over just about anything. But that’s his position and he’s sticking to it.
“It surprised us,” MacFarlane said. “It just didn’t occur to us. We thought that it maybe would create a little bit of a stir, but the rage was not something that we counted on.”