Seth MacFarlane Secretly Wants 'Family Guy' to End; Relaunch 'Star Trek' for TV

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    default Seth MacFarlane Secretly Wants 'Family Guy' to End; Relaunch 'Star Trek' for TV

    Post by Chris on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:51 pm

    In the new Showrunners issue of The
    Hollywood Reporter, the man behind Fox’s multi-billion dollar animated
    empire reveals ambivalence about his flagship series’ future, likens
    Disney to a concentration camp, talks "Simpsons" salary woes.

    This story appears on the cover of the new Hollywood Reporter magazine.

    In an era of fractured viewership and hard-to-come-by hits, Seth MacFarlane,
    37, is at the white-hot center of a multibillion-dollar empire, one
    that continues to deliver younger viewers, hefty syndication revenue and
    the kind of merchandise studio heads drool over. Last year alone, his
    programming generated nearly $200 million in ad revenue, according to
    Kantar Media.

    That empire includes American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, an update of the classic animated series The Flintstones, a revamp of the 1980s PBS series Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, an untitled animated series he's preparing to pitch, a feature film due out next summer called Ted, a surprisingly well-reviewed big band album (Music Is Better Than Words),
    a recurring gig as Comedy Central's celebrity roast master (most recent
    victim: Charlie Sheen) and the series that made them all possible, Family Guy.

    PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes With Top Showrunners

    "This is a business where hyperbole -- 'genius,' 'whiz kid' -- can
    be thrown around, but Seth is really one a of a kind," says Fox
    entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who keeps a framed picture of the Family Guy characters signed by MacFarlane in his office.

    The scope of MacFarlane's ambition is revealed by those he counts as role models: Woody Allen, George Lucas, Frank Sinatra and mentor Norman Lear. Like MacFarlane, each are one-man industries.

    PHOTOS: From the Mind of Seth MacFarlane

    "I need to clone him 10 times over," jokes MacFarlane's longtime agent, WME's Greg Hodes,
    who regularly fields calls for him to do everything from directing or
    starring in films to producing live-action shows or digital series to
    taking on Broadway.

    Among the most surprising things senior television writer Lacey Rose turned up in her cover story on MacFarlane, appearing in THR's Showrunners Issue:

    THR'S Complete List of 2011 Power Showrunners

    "Part of me thinks that Family Guy should have already ended. I
    think seven seasons is about the right lifespan for a TV series," he
    says of a show that launched its tenth season last month. "I talk to the
    fans and in a way I'm kind of secretly hoping for them to say we're
    done with it. There are plenty of people who say the show is kind of
    over the hill… but still the vast majority go pale in the face when I
    mention the possibility." As he sees it, there’s something to be said
    for wrapping up the series and doing a movie once every couple of years.
    "Creatively, that would be the way to do it for me. Do a really
    fantastic final episode while the show is still strong," he says,
    acknowledging that there are plenty of powerful reasons -- including the
    viewer demand and the amount of people employed by the series, some 300
    people in total -- to give him pause. (There is a deal in place for a Family Guy movie, which he is writing with series co-producer Ricky Blitt; it's now a matter of finding time in MacFarlane's schedule to make it happen.)

    Though he dabbled in theater and then stand-up comedy (an impression of Bill Clinton
    talking to Scooby Doo was a standout) during his time at Rhode Island
    School of Design, MacFarlane was there to become an animator. A career
    at Disney, which had just released Beauty and the Beast, was
    his dream job. "That's until I found out that it was essentially
    Theresienstadt," he cracks, referencing the Nazi concentration camp
    known for what appeard to be a thriving cultural scene. During those
    college years, he became fixated with a newer series called The Simpsons,
    which he believed was rewriting all of the rules of the primetime
    animation genre. (He still watches on occasion.) Among the draws was its
    less-is-more visual style, which MacFarlane claims is the secret to the
    genre. "It's the simplicity," he explains, arguing if The Simpsons was animated by Disney, it would be "a hundred times" less funny.

    MacFarlane is particularly eager to reboot one of his favorite franchises, Star Trek,
    for TV. "I don't know who would give me the keys to that car," he
    jokes, acknowledging that the films have been so profitable for
    Paramount that he isn't so sure they have a lot of interest in getting
    back into the TV business. "But I’d love to see that franchise revived
    for television in the way that it was in the 1990s: very thoughtful,
    smartly written stories that transcend the science fiction audience.”

    In addition to upcoming projects The Flintstones and Cosmos,
    both expected to premiere on Fox in 2013, MacFarlane is about to take
    out another animated project to the networks, this time with Family Guy's Alex Borstein (aka the voice of Lois Griffin) and Will & Grace executive producer Gary Janetti, who has written for Family Guy. There are also live action series projects in preliminary stages, including one with fellow Family Guy and Ted writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.

    STORY: Seth MacFarlane: From Doodles to Stardom

    To hear MacFarlane tell it, there isn't a tremendous amount that needs refurbishing with The Flintstones,
    outside of such things as the characters' devices, which he suggests
    were prehistoric versions of 1960s technology in the original version.
    (Expect iPads in the MacFarlane version.) The updates will be more
    evident in the series' writing: "Fred skipping out on the opera to go to
    the lodge is something that probably would need to be a little fresher
    in 2011,” he says of a series efforts that will be broader and more
    accessible, a la The Simpsons, as opposed to the bawdier, more irreverent Family Guy.

    MacFarlane has been approached about doing Broadway, an idea he hasn’t ruled out. But don’t expect a theater run to look like Book of Mormon from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
    "If I did a Broadway musical, I'd probably want to do something a
    little bit more old fashioned," he says, himself a Broadway junkie. "I
    wouldn't necessarily do something that was as edgy as what they have
    done. The challenge to me would be more along the lines of, 'Gosh, can
    somebody write Oklahoma for 2011?' "

    MacFarlane doesn't foresee having Simpsons-esque troubles with
    his voice actors, whom he considers close friends. "They know I have
    their backs, and I know they're never going to gouge us to an excessive
    degree," he laughs. "So I don't anticipate us having the standoffs that The Simpsons have had." (The Simpsons was recently renewed for a 24th and 25th season following a public contract battle between Fox and the show’s voice cast.)

    MacFarlane has been drawing -- the Flinstones, Woody Woodpecker,
    whatever he saw on television -- since he was two-years-old. Growing up
    the son of a butcher in Kent, Connecticut, he got his practice
    scribbling cartoon characters on customers' grocery bags. "It was a
    small town so everybody knew everybody else and the locals tolerated
    it," he shrugged, acknowledging that some kept his doodlings, which
    undoubtedly hold value now. (His recently widowed father has many more
    pieces saved in his nearby Los Angeles home.) By nine, he was hired to
    do a weekly cartoon strip titled Walter Crouton for the local newspaper,
    The Kent Good Times Dispatch. The gig, which he kept until he went off
    to college at Rhode Island School of Design, initially paid him $5 per
    strip, but was later upped to $10.

    To read the full cover story on Seth MacFarlane, click here.

    “I am so clever that sometimes
    I don't understand a single word
    of what I am saying.”
    - Oscar Wilde

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    default Re: Seth MacFarlane Secretly Wants 'Family Guy' to End; Relaunch 'Star Trek' for TV

    Post by CeCe on Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:13 pm

    If anyone can pull it off it would probably be him.

    *Walter White returning soon :-)

      Current date/time is Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:08 pm