Fox President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly made the news official during the network's upfront presentation to advertisers, and though MacFarlane was not present, he explained his take on the animated comedy in a pre-taped clip: "It will look the same. The only thing that will change are the stories we tell," MacFarlane said. "What's the animal version of an iPad? That's something we'll have to figure out."
Elsewhere, Fox unveiled its fall tent pole The X Factor. While NBC's The Voice may appear to be stealing some of the show's thunder — drawing raves and dominating Tuesday's 18-49 audiences over its three episodes — Reilly urged advertisers and reporters against dismissing the draw of Simon Cowell.
"Others may imitate, but there's only one Simon Cowell," he said.
After showing a clip reel to explain how The X Factor works — nationwide auditions taped before an audience, judges who act as mentors, and contestants young and old, solo and group — Cowell confidently greeted the audience. "We're already been voted the best-looking team on reality TV, and that was just from five minutes ago," he said.
The show taped the Los Angeles auditions earlier this month, and Cowell turned up to tell the crowd that they were "possibly two of the best days I've ever shot."
"We're definitely going to kick some ass," he said.
Fox also announced a 25th anniversary special honoring Married ... With Children would air in April 2012.