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Family Guy - Strong DVD sales could resurrect series

Posted by David Lambert
11/19/2003
 
When Gord Lacey created TVShowsOnDVD just over 2 years ago, one of his goals was to help get Family Guy put onto DVD...a sentiment I shared with him completely! Now, seven months after seeing this dream realized with the first of two Family Guy DVD releases, we are now seeing a new phenomenon that neither of us anticipated: the idea that TV-on-DVD releases might actually get this cancelled show renewed once more!

In a stunning new USA Today article by Gary Levin, it is reported that 'Family Guy' may return, based on the very strong sales of the series on DVD. We encourage you to read the article in its entirety, by clicking on that link. However, here are the related portions from it:
    In a sign of the growing importance of DVD sales to Hollywood, 20th Century Fox is considering a plan to resume production of Family Guy, a sometimes crude animated comedy that the Fox network took off the air more than 18 months ago.

    As many as 35 new episodes could return in January 2005, marking the first time that a canceled series has been revived based on strong DVD demand and ratings in syndication.

    Fox Television Entertainment Group chairman Sandy Grushow said a decision is expected soon and called the series a late-blooming phenomenon that may have aired before its time.

    A DVD set of the show's first 28 episodes released in April has sold nearly 1 million copies, making it this year's top-selling TV show and the No. 4 television title ever, according to Video Store magazine. A second collection, of 22 episodes, has sold 520,000 copies. And the series is Cartoon Network's most popular among adults.

    ...A decision to restart the show suggests a reversal from the old TV business model, in which a network hit predicts a profit windfall in syndication. This time, the promise of DVD and syndication gold could justify a show's return even if low network ratings didn't.

Again, this is some stunning and very wonderful news! We thank Michael DeGraw for letting us know about the article. Although there had been some discussion of a straight-to-DVD Family Guy feature as a result of the interest in the show on DVD, we had no inkling whatsoever that it might actually lead to a revival of the weekly broadcasts! While the article correctly points out that this revival is an easier feat for an animated show, since "it can simply be drawn back into existence," the fact that this move is being considered at all demonstrates the power of DVD sales of TV Shows. We're delighted here, and we hope that all of you are, too.

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