All Hail Family Guy: 1.32
The triumphant return of Family Guy proves that the DVD era has arrived. Shows no longer have to wait for syndication to make their mucho dinero. DVDs will accomplish the same thing, with much less fuss. That's why Fox ordered 35 episodes, while only committing to air 13. Of course, with Family Guy's recent success [and its obvious halo effect on the inferior, if still somewhat funny, "American Dad"], I suspect that Fox will air most, if not all, of the episodes it orders. And the profit potential of future episodes looks secure.
I'm just glad the show that did it was Family Guy, which of all of Fox's current comedies, is probably the funniest. Arrested Development is wryly hilarious and The Simpsons is the gold standard in animated comedy, but Family Guy just makes me laugh out loud more than any other show on TV. We're talking "Spit-stuff-out-your-nose" funny. It's also nice that it happened to the quick-axing people at Fox. This is a network [as we heard on the first returning episode of Family Guy] that has a lineup of good dead shows longer than its complete list of current ones. Dark Angel's Jessica Alba taking over for a season for Sydney while Jennifer Garner is preggers, anyone?
For returning and proving Fox wrong and making them eat it-- Family Guy, I salute you. And Fox, can we move Family Guy earlier so I don't have to get my geeky roommate to pirate it off the Internet from CTV [that's Canadian television, people] without the commercials because I can't miss a second of Desperate Housewives?
Thanks. Although not bad scheduling with Animation Domination. Except that its success dooms Arrested Development to the ax-- except if YOU PUT IT ON A DIFFERENT NIGHT, LIKE RIGHT AFTER AMERICAN IDOL, YOU JERKS. You know that Arrested could be successful, but no-- sorry, I digress with another tirade against Fox.
The whole point is, the economics of television are changing thanks to DVDs-- a series that can cost $45 million for a season [or more] can make most of that back on strong DVD sales alone [If Lost sells a DVD to one in 10 viewers at $45/pop, that'll likely be revenue of about $90 million]. The five-season standard for syndication may still be the admitted goal of most television shows, but that may no longer be tv's only cash cow. That's why the fight is on over DVD revenues.
There's more evidence for this trend-- Dave Chappelle's megacontract and his recent one-man strike [Defamer has had the best coverage of this, with all due respect to PopBytes, et al.] may be the best evidence. He's rich, bi*ch. And it's thanks to DVDs. So let us now feel a little sad that we have provided Benjamins for Dave to snort his yayo. I never said fame and fortune still weren't a double-edged sword-- come on, people, this is Los Angeles. You know this.