Successful Guy Seth MacFarlane takes advantage of his hit status with a new comedy
Peter Griffin, Family Guy
As Peter Griffin would put it, life has been freakin' sweet for Family Guy
creator Seth MacFarlane
. The animated Griffins of Quahog, R.I., are hitting ratings highs Sunday nights on Fox, often beating ABC's Desperate Housewives
among male viewers ages 18 to 34. Past episodes are still big draws on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. The box sets of the first three seasons all rank among the top DVD sellers. His second series, American Dad
, has become a hit as well. So what's next? MacFarlane has signed on as executive producer of Becoming Glenn
, a sitcom pilot that Fox will consider for its fall lineup. The show, which revolves around a 35-year-old slacker, was actually written and shot three years ago, and even though it didn't make the cut, it was a favorite among TV executives who had seen it. So now that it's back from the dead, who better than the man whose own Guy
resurrected long after cancellation to help turn Glenn
into a hit? Here's what he had to say when the Biz recently caught up with him.
TVGuide.com: Tell us about Becoming Glenn.
MacFarlane: It was a pilot that was actually produced three years ago. I was not involved with it, but it was one of the greatest scripts that I've ever read.
TVGuide.com: It was one of those pilots that was getting a cult reputation.
MacFarlane: Yeah. It was a single-camera pilot that should have been multicamera because there were so many laugh-out-loud moments. It was written by Ricky Blitt, a former Family Guy writer and a very close friend of mine. He wrote "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein," "Death Is a Bitch," "Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington." And of course, he wrote the feature film The Ringer. With Family Guy and American Dad doing as well as they are, I was given an opportunity to help get other shows that I like on the air. I always liked that script, and Ricky is one of the most talented writers I've ever met. It seemed appropriate for my foray into producing a live-action show.
TVGuide.com: Are you going to act in it?
MacFarlane: No. I don't have time. Eventually, I may be brave enough to take a crack at on-camera acting. We'll see. I'd have to be pretty drunk.
TVGuide.com: You wouldn't be the first. Where do we stand with Family Guy on Broadway?
MacFarlane: It's something I still would love to do. The producer who has been interested has been pressuring us — in a good way.
TVGuide.com: You're waiting for David Hyde Pierce to be available to play Stewie?
MacFarlane: Exactly. And we've got to find a way to resurrect Jackie Gleason.
TVGuide.com: Anything else coming up that we should know about?
MacFarlane: I would love to do a movie. Opportunities have come up and I haven't been able to act on them.
TVGuide.com: Family Guy-related or something new?
MacFarlane: Both. At some point I would like to do a live-action feature. But it's a seven-day-a-week job with two shows and now this new pilot.
TVGuide.com: The DVD sales of Family Guy are history-making. Will your next deal with Fox give you a bigger piece of the action?
MacFarlane: That's what we're working on right now. There have been a number of conversations that have taken place.
TVGuide.com: Because this was an unforeseen revenue stream when you made your previous deal?
MacFarlane: Yes, which is why in those types of situations it's a little harder to get at and participate in. But I'm confident that an agreement that is satisfactory to everyone will be reached.... They're sneezing money with these — leave a little for me, for crying out loud!