ITV is to become the free-to-air home of all new series of the hugely popular Seth MacFarlane comedy Family Guy, ITV and Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution announced today.
Beginning this autumn, all new series of Family Guy will have their UK premiere exclusively on ITV2, the UK’s biggest digital channel for young people. The multi-year deal also includes other Seth MacFarlane animated comedies American Dad, The Cleveland Show and new series Bordertown.
Entering its 15th season this autumn, Family Guy continues to entertain its die-hard fan base with razor-sharp humour, spot-on parodies, spectacular animation and orchestra-backed original music.
Since its debut, the series has reached cult status among fans, and has racked up numerous awards, including an Emmy® Award nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series, only the second animated series in television history to be honoured with such a distinction.
Series creator and lead voice actor, Seth MacFarlane (voice of Brian Griffin, Peter Griffin and Stewie Griffin), received a 2014 Emmy® Award nomination for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance.
The show follows Peter Griffin (MacFarlane), the endearingly ignorant dad, and his hilariously offbeat family of middle-class New Englanders in Quahog, Rhode Island. Lois (Alex Borstein) is Peter’s wife, a stay-at-home mum with no patience for her family’s antics. Then there are their kids: 18-year-old Meg (Mila Kunis) is an outcast at school and the Griffin family punching bag; 13-year-old Chris (Seth Green) is a socially awkward teen who doesn’t have a clue about the opposite sex; and rounding off the Griffin household are diabolically clever baby, one-year-old Stewie (MacFarlane) and Brian (MacFarlane), the family dog and a ladies’ man who is one step away from AA.
ITV2 will also become the free-to-air broadcast home of American Dad, with both new and existing series coming to the channel. The animated comedy revolves around Stan Smith, a CIA agent in Langley Falls, Virginia, whose main objective in life is national security. His family members, as well as a talking goldfish and a space alien who likes to play dress-up, keep Stan busy while he tries to prevent terrorist activity in the United States.
As part of a deal that makes ITV the free-to-air home of an enviable collection of Seth MacFarlane and Twentieth Century Fox Television comedies – the commercial broadcaster has also acquired the rights to series 1 to 4 of The Cleveland Show. This animated series follows Quahog’s favourite soft-spoken neighbour, Cleveland Brown, as he settles down in Virginia with his high school sweetheart and her unruly kids.
ITV2 will also screen the UK premiere of new Seth MacFarlane animated comedy Bordertown, which is set in a fictitious desert town near the Mexican border, with the series centring on the intertwining daily lives of two neighbours: Bud Buckwald and Ernesto Gonzales. Married and a father of three, Bud is a Border Patrol agent who feels threatened by the cultural changes that have transformed his neighbourhood. Living next door to Bud is Ernesto, an industrious Mexican immigrant and father of four, who is proud to be making it in America. As Bud and Ernesto’s paths begin to cross, their families become bound by friendship, romance and conflict.
ITV’s Director of Television, Peter Fincham said:
“Seth MacFarlane’s shows have firmly established him as the comedy voice of choice for an entire generation. Seth is sharp, hugely irreverent and brilliantly funny which is reflected in his fantastic shows. We are delighted to be welcoming him and his comic creations to ITV.”
ITV’s Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Angela Jain said:
“Family Guy is satire with nothing off limits – it’s like spending half an hour with the funniest guy in the room and watching him freestyle – it is a joy to announce to all Seth MacFarlane fans that the new series premiere will be on ITV2 from this Autumn. The acquisition of these brilliant and distinctive shows is totally in line with the strategy of strengthening ITV2 as a comprehensive entertainment channel destination for young viewers.”
Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution’s President of International Television, Marion Edwards said:
“Family Guy is one of our most important, iconic series and we are very excited about this new collaboration. We are confident that this extraordinary series will not only bring its loyal fan base to ITV, but will also be embraced by an entirely new set of fans.”