"Family Guy" renewed through 2012

Yes, I’m going to be around for four more years, so deal with it. I credit Dr. Smith from Lost in Space for my wonderful character change. He’s quite smart! He deals with that robot… I deal with Brian. It’s the same thing, basically…

Television’s wackiest animated family (besides The Simpsons, that is), is returning for four more seasons.

In a new megadeal, Twentieth Television has inked a deal with Seth MacFarlane to keep not only Family Guy and American Dad on the air for four more seasons, but also enables him to develop a Family Guy movie in addition to a spin-off called The Cleveland Show, and developing more programs through his Fuzzy Door production company. By the time the deal expires, MacFarlane could net more than $100 million in revenue.

With this deal, it is likely Family Guy will have a second cycle in broadcast syndication, since the current deal expires in 2011, and has been a tremendous success for local stations. Family Guy finished a strong second to Two and a Half Men this season among new syndicated fare.

Family Guy launched after the Super Bowl in 1999, and wound up being canceled twice – in 2000 and again in 2002 – but strong DVD sales put the program back on the air (a first), where it has been a successful addition to Fox’s Sunday night animated lineup.

Thought: This is bad news for the Parents Television Council, which has lobbied to take both Family Guy and American Dad off the air. I revel gleefully in their defeat. Now… what’s this about Stewie taking advice from Dr. Smith from Lost in Space about going from a evil mastermind to a wimp? It’s going to be a long four years… Oh, the pain, the pain….