Last month at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the creators and voice actors behind Fox’s “Family Guy” and “American Dad” gave fans in attendance a look behind the scenes and some hints at what’s coming up next season.
The first half of the panel was dedicated to “American Dad,” with actors Seth MacFarlane, Scott Grimes, Dee Bradley Baker, Rachael MacFarlane and Wendy Schaal. To give fans a sense of how a show is made, the panelists performed a table reading of the first third of an episode, showed the second in the black and white, rough “animatic” version, followed by the third act in color and complete as it appears on television.
For the “Family Guy” portion of the panel, MacFarlane was joined by actors Seth Green, John Viener and Mike Henry, producers David Goodman and Karen Vice, director Greg Colton, and writer/producer Chris Sheridan. Most of the time was devoted to fan Q&A.
The panel also announced there would be a sequel to the Star Wars parody “Blue Harvest” this season, titled “Something Something Something Dark Side.” MacFarlane explained that they couldn’t show anything from the episode, but instead entertained the crowd by reading from the notes they received from Standards and Practices.
|Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green at Comic-Con International 2008|
Green confirmed that his own show, Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken,” will also be doing a Star Wars episode this season. MacFarlane and Green denied that there was any rivalry between the two shows and said that they will check with each other to make sure they don’t use the same jokes.
Other episodes this season will include a story in which a new dog moves in with the Griffins and Brian has to leave, and one in which Stewie and Brian go back in time to Poland circa 1939, accidently dragging along Mort Goldman. MacFarlane also revealed that actor James Woods would be back this season.
The panel also showed the first act of an upcoming episode titled “I Dream of Jesus” written by former “The Simpsons” scribe Brian Scull, and a trailer for the upcoming spin-off, “The Cleveland Show.” The show will be produced and run by the voice of Cleveland, Mike Henry. Cleveland leaves Quahog with Cleveland Jr, and forms “a black Brady Bunch” with Donna, his high school sweetheart. True to the MacFarlane formula, talking animals are present in the form of a family of bears living across the street.
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