A ton of news featuring Family Guy and South Park today here in The Grab Bag. It’s like having Cubs fans and White Sox fans together in the same room. Oh-Oh… Hey, no beer throwing!
– To build up Emmy buzz for its nomination as a Best Outstanding Comedy Nominee, the producers of Family Guy held a live table reading Wedensday night in Los Angeles, and the episode being read was centered on Lois agreeing on being a surrogate mother and complicating whether or not to have an abortion. Series creator Seth McFarlane stated that Fox would not air the episode, given the controversial nature of it.
The abortion issue is still a touchy subject in today’s circles, and one advertisers won’t go near. A two-part Maude episode centering on abortion generated protests from anti-abortion groups and caused 40 CBS affiliates to pre-empt the show when the episodes were reran in August 1973 (Maude’s Dilemma originally aired on November 14 and 21, 1972.)
In 1989, NBC lost more than $1 million in revenue after advertisers bailed out of a TV movie, Roe vs. Wade.
An episode dealing with the issue on the Canadian teen drama Degrassi High was banned from airing on U.S. television.
Though Fox won’t air the episode, it will likely wind up on a season DVD set. To see video from the table read, click here.
– As for episodes that will air on Fox, conservatives Karl Rowe and radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh will lend their voices on an episode where Brian fins there is nothing to complain about after Obama becomes President, he becomes a Republican. MacFarlane admitted his writing staff is liberal, hence all the conservative bashing. This is not the first time Limbaugh has lent his voice to Family Guy: he did so in Blue harvest, but curiously, not in an episode where he was a “character” played by Fred Savage.
Also on tap: Lois finds out she’s Jewish and not Protestant.
– Also on the Family Guy front, Seth McFarlane also revealed something we already knew: Stewie Griffin is gay. In an interview with Playboy magazine (due out next month),MacFarlane talks about an upcoming episode where Stewie gets knocked about it at school, and he winds up going back in time to prevent a passage in the book of Leviticus from being written. Macfarlane and the writers decided to keep Stewie’s homosexuality vague because of the toddler’s age.
Thought: All right… Stewie’s gay, we get it. It’s something a fan of the show like yours truly has known for years. But hasn’t Stewie shown interest in women before, even in an episode that aired last season? I suppose the proper term here is bisexual. I guess character development isn’t Seth MacFarlane’s forte.
– Meanwhile, the producers of South Park and Comedy Central were basically tired of their arch nemesis Seth McFarlane grabbing all the headlines. So they announced on Thursday they were making the original version of the first full-length episode of South Park available online at SouthParkStudios.com. It is basically an extended version of Cartman Gets An Anal Probe, which premiered on August 13, 1997 (right to the very day of this announcement.) The episode is only available online through September 12.
Though the linked article and South Park Studios states Cartman Gets An Anal Probe is the pilot of the series, it really isn’t. The original “pilot” was a five-minute video Christmas card sent out to friends by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, featuring a duel between Jesus and Santa Claus. Wouldn’t be cool if this was posted on the site as well?