Fox has given a 13-episode order to Bordertown, from MacFarlane and Family Guy's Mark Hentemann. Set in a fictitious desert town near the U.S.-Mexico border, Bordertown centers on the intertwining daily lives of neighbors Bud Buckwald and Ernesto Gonzales. Bud, a married father of three, is a Border Patrol agent who feels threatened by the cultural changes that have transformed his neighborhood. Living next door 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.
TOON BEAT Archives
- The sleuths at Bleeding Cool, hot off the heels of their Bapper discovery, noticed that Matt Groening recently bought the domain lifeinhell.tv, which could only mean one thing: Groening is moving to the islands of Tuvalu, which owns and operates the .tv domain. [Bleeding Cool]
- The Awl has a good piece about the Simpsons-themed area at Universal Orlando (does it have a name?) and the "Experience Economy" that reflects my ambivalence to the whole thing. [The Awl]
- Nick Offerman, who plays Ron Swanson in Parks & Recreation, casually mentioned that he recorded a part for The Simpsons, a show he'd been "ape-shit" about for a couple decades. [A.V. Club]
Crossover! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul? Family Guy has listened to your 1999-era fan fiction and is going full steam-ahead on a crossover episode where the Griffins meet the Simpsons, and wackiness is sure to ensue. Just think of the possibilities: maybe Homer and Peter will argue over which cartoon beer is better?? Maybe Stewie and Maggie will try to kill someone?? Maybe the talking dog will sniff the other dog's butt?? Unfortunately you'll have to wait more than a year to see all your amazing Animation Domination crossover fantasies brought to life on the silver screen.
Anyway, Brad Bird, who's now a big-time director about to start production on a sci-fi movie called Tomorrowland and needn't concern himself with piddley new developments in the field of long-running run-into-the-ground TV cartoons, weighed in on Twitter by saying he agrees with his former boss, 1995 Matt Groening.
Bob's Burgers, the only good show on Fox's Animation Domination block, is getting its own comic book from some indie company called Dynamite Entertainment. Not only that, but attendees of the Bob's Burgers panel at an event called the "San Diego Comic Convention" will get a special coloring book! As Bob Burger would say, "Freaking sweet!"
Well, the Maggie Simpson short lost in its bid for an Academy Award, and the world was robbed of the opportunity to see director David Silverman's majestic beard. Here's a photopic of Silverman, Matt Groening, and writer Michael Price looking dapper on the red carpet (apparently Silverman and Groening didn't get the memo to wear this Maggie button):
Can critically-'cclaimed cult college comedy caper Community compete in cartoon and comedy categories? No, according to a bunch of incensed cartoon writers - including all 537 Simpsons writers as well as the Family Guy manatees - who wrote a strongly-worded letter to the esteemed representatives of television to protest Community stepping on their turf (their turf being the Emmy categories Best Animated Program and Short-Form Animated Program). See, once again Community is eligible for an Emmy or two in animated categories thanks to a special animated episode - last year it was the stop-motion "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" (which won Individual Achievement in Animation, the show's only Emmy so far), this year it's "Digital Estate Planning," an excellent video game-based episode. But since Community is normally a live-action show, it's also eligible for the usual live-action categories that animated shows are apparently ineligible for, including Outstanding Writing in a Comedy.
Seth MacFarlane, beloved by millions around the globe as the voice of Stewie The Talking Baby Who Says Naughty Things and Brian The Talking Dog Who Says Naughty Things, is ready to branch out and tackle the next big challenge of his artistic career: directing, writing, producing and starring in a live-action movie about a Talking Teddy Bear Who Says Naughty Things.
Fox hired a guy from Adult Swim to find out how to better compete with Adult Swim and his solution was for Fox to make their own Adult Swim. Brilliant! The two hour programming block will air on Saturdays at 11pm starting next year.
Basically, they're grabbing up all the "edgy" cartoons they don't have room for on Sunday nights (which I will henceforth refer to as "Animation Domination Prime") and dumping them on Saturday nights, formerly the home of MADtv, Wanda Sykes's late-night talk show, and the remaining episodes of Sit Down, Shut Up they were contractually obligated to air. Nobody knows what's on there now. The audience for this thing will primarily consist of Adult Swim viewers who forgot Saturdays are when Adult Swim airs The Animes.
Holy crap, Lois! Remember the time when Family Guy writer Patrick Meighan got sent to the slammer for the heinous crime of occupying Los Angeles? What the deuce??? He set up a blog to share his ordeal.
I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.
With us Occupy LA protestors, however, they set bail at $5,000 and booked us into jail. Almost none of the protesters could afford to bail themselves out. I'm lucky and I could afford it, except the LAPD spent all day refusing to actually *accept* the bail they set. If you were an accused murderer or a rapist in LAPD custody that day, you could bail yourself right out and be back on the street, no problem. But if you were a nonviolent Occupy LA protestor with bail money in hand, you were held long into the following morning, with absolutely no access to a lawyer.
I guess you could say it was the opposite of "freakin' sweet." Giggity giggity goo, damn you vile woman, etc.
TV's greatest visionary, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, just dropped a new album, because voicing half the characters in three shows didn't provide him with enough opportunities to hear his own voice. Fans of Family Guy's excruciatingly long musical parodies will especially love this vanity project, which features MacFarlane putting on his best Sinatra impression to croon long-forgotten showtunes. TheWrap reviewer Chris Willman says it's "not terrible" and "nearly unmockable," but calls MacFarlane's voice "generic."
So now the Family Guy guy has a big-band album, and the South Park dudes have a hit Broadway musical. What's next, an opera penned by Mike Judge??? Face it America, your bad boy purveyors of crude cartoon filth are actually just a bunch of band geeks. [TheWrap]
Okay, listen up people. We all know The Simpsons can't go on forever. Yes, it's been on the air for a fifth of a century. Yes, we're almost at the point where The Bad Episodes constitute two-thirds of the series. But it has to end at some point. Now, the smart money is on the show wrapping things up when Year 25 rolls around. But Fox can't just cut and run; the network needs an exit strategy to take care of the gaping hole in its formidable Animation Domination programming block The Simpsons would leave behind. Luckily, the executives have thought ahead and ordered a whole bunch of animated series - some of which is already airing, some of which will probably get cancelled after a couple episodes, and some that probably already died in utero. Just for funsies, let's pretend it's a big Sport Game with brackets and stuff, which I have helpfully diagrammed below:
As you can see, these cartoon sitcoms are locked into a NO HOLDS BARRED BATTLE TO THE DEATH. Only one show can take over the coverted 8pm Sundays timeslot sweetspot The Simpsons currently occupies. Or, actually, maybe one can take it over for a little bit, then be replaced in mid-season by another one. Who knows. Let's take a closer look at the competitors...
Holy crap Lois, they're making a Family Guy MMO (that's massively multiplayer online game), for some reason. So if you're tired of stomping around Warcraft or whatever you can pretend to be a virtual Family Guy character and walk around Quahog making lazy pop culture references with other Family Guy fanatics. Wow!!! It'll be like TV Tropes and Second Life had a baby, except with over 9,000 times more epic random for the win purple monkey dishwasher. I'm guessing there will be some "game" elements, like, I don't know, beating up the chicken guy or the evil monkey (remember the time Peter beat up the chicken? Remember?). Will there be gang wars between Simpsons fans and Family Guy fans? Who knows! Nobody knows anything about this thing yet, all we know is there's a site where you can pre-register for a beta, and if you view the page source, the description says "Sign up for the Family Guy Online today and receive news & events about the upcoming MMO!" So yeah.
The inexplicably beloved Hanna-Barbera franchise The Flintstones, which holds the dubious distinction of being the first cartoon sitcom, is being reinvented for today's audiences by Seth MacFarlane, the auteur behind 90% of today's cartoon sitcoms, including Family Guy and Family Guy Spinoff. Remaking a boring Honeymooners rip-off from half a century ago that nobody actually likes, except maybe nostalgia-blinded baby boomers? Check. Another goddamned Seth MacFarlane show greenlit by Fox, despite their ridiculous insistence that their strategy is not "all Seth, all the time?" Check. This is the state of television in 2011. [Deadline.com]
Lately, Fox has been taking a huge gamble by ordering a bunch of cartoons that weren't made by Seth MacFarlane - including a Napoleon Dynamite show, a Jonah Hill show, and a Jack Black show - and then chucking them into the lions' den to see who makes it out alive, in the hopes that one day they might have a show with decent-enough ratings to ensure the survival of Animation Domination in a post-Simpsons, post-Family Guy future.
Surprising everybody, the enjoyable Bob's Burgers has managed to make it out alive with all the lioncrystals, and has been handsomely rewarded with a second season, thus ensuring Bob will live to burg another day. This means people on the internet can now transition from "TOO BAD FOX WILL CANCEL IT JUST LIKE FIREFLY & FREAKYLINKS " to accusations of shark-jumping.
Still no word on a twenty-third season of The Simpsons... hmm.... [A.V. Club]
An animated television series based on the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite is currently in development at Fox, a network spokesperson has confirmed to FishbowlLA.
Since Fox only does cartoons on Sundays, and there's a limited number of timeslots, could this cartoon replace The Simpsons after it's cancelled next year?? And what of Bob's Burgers??? Developing... [FishbowlLA]
Family Guy: "It's like watching The Simpsons after three beers."
King of the Hill: "King of the Hill is like The Simpsons after... three strokes." [UGO]
Omagh councillor Ross Hussey, of Ireland or something, got told he looks like the dad from Family Guy and now he might run campaign posters highlighting this resemblance in a misguided attempt to win over young voters. Look at the picture, it is funny. [BBC]
Family Guy successfully received an Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, becoming the first animated show to have done so since The Flintsones in 1961. The Simpsons had attempted, and failed, to do so in 1993 and 1994. [TV Guide]
Sit Down, Shut Up, the recently-premiered TV cartoon on the Fox Network created by the creator of Arrested Development and produced by one half of the former Josh Weinsten/Bill Oakley Simpsons showrunning superteam, was pretty much cancelled (TV channels never actually say the word "cancellation" because it is like saying Voldemort, basically) in order to make room for the upcoming Family Guy spin-off about the black guy, which was picked up for a second season even though it hasn't even aired yet. Yes, the first episode of Sit Down, Shut Up (or SitShut, as those in the 'biz call it) was real bad, but it was getting better, yes/maybe/kinda?? Anyway, doesn't Seth MacFarlane already have enough cartoon shows, and also the whole Spawn thing? "Simpsons Spinoff Showcase" is becoming true except for Family Guy because nobody in the world watches The Simpsons anymore, and even less people are watching the new shows [SFGate]
Simpsons creator Matt Groening has always enjoyed a favorable relationship with the press. Serving as a sort-of go-to cultural commentator, the head of Fox's billion-dollar cartoon franchise is often quoted on everything from animation to music to high school to Olympic mascots. These days, however, he is often asked to comment on Fox's other billion-dollar cartoon franchise, Family Guy. In a Wall Street Journal article about Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, MacFarlane's contemporary is relegated to a handful of sentences, including a paragraph which curiously reads like a line from a Fox press release:
Cartoonist Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons," says, "He's laid the groundwork with this smash hit show and now, with new media opening up and Seth's specific kind of rapid-fire visual humor, how to exploit it just depends on how ambitious he wants to be."
Given that Fox and the Journal are corporate siblings, could this be another sign of The Simpsons's diminishing stature in the eyes of Fox executives? [Wall Street Journal]
A critic at a Television Critics Association panel asked a panel of nine FOX animated show producers why they're so white:
A critic gets a laugh by starting a question with,"Here's a question for the women and people of color up there" (there are none) ... and asks about the lack of diversity in the genre.[The Live Feed]
[Family Guy creator Seth] MacFarlane: "There's something about the medium of animation that it's male dominated ... might also have something to do with the demographics of animation also skewing male."
Fox-owned IGN steps in to settle the fight nobody cares about anymore, Simpsons vs. Family Guy! I didn't read any of it, but if you want to look at a bunch of pictures of nerds and read their analyses of the two cartoon shows, then be my guest. [IGN]
Matt Groening doesn't think so:
"At the beginning, there was probably some competition going on" between "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy," he says. "But certainly not from me.
"I know how hard it is to do an animated TV show. ['Family Guy' creator] Seth MacFarlane is a good friend. And 'Family Guy' is funny. It's got its own style. The more the merrier. I want more cartoons on TV," Groening says.
MacFarlane had some nice things to say about The Simpsons, too:
"You could almost say 'The Honeymooners' or subsequently 'All in the Family' laid down the ground rules -- everything structurally -- for a live-action sitcom.[Chicago Sun-Times]
"And I think it's the same thing for 'The Simpsons' regarding subsequent animated shows. They reinvented the process. A lot of things worked. So of course you're gonna use that as a springboard."
Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane has declared that he will prolong the epic CARTOON WARS that are threatening the very fabric of our society with more shots at supposed rival show The Simpsons, after they semi-recently took a shot at Family Guy and American Dad. It's like the Cold War nuclear arms race except with cartoons and nerds [ToonZone]