“Family Guy” fans responded in outrage following the death of the series character Brian Griffin, the Griffin family’s beloved talking dog, after his on-air death Sunday. Following the premiere of the episode "Life of Brian," fans of the controversial Seth MacFarlane animated series responded with a petition in an effort to convince producers to bring Brian back to the series. So the question remains: Will Brian come back from the dead?
On Monday, a fan by the name of Aaron Thompson created the Change.org petition “Seth MacFarlane, and Fox Broadcasting Company: Bring Brian Griffin back to Family Guy” in an effort to bring Brian Griffin the dog back to life. “The writers of family guy didn't just kill off one of their creations, they killed off the dog who has lived in our homes for the last 15 years. They killed the dog we all have come to love, said Thompson's petition, calling the cartoon critter, “America's dog."
Thompson, a Tuscaloosa-based viewer, also made claims on the platform site that the character’s death will result in a loss of ratings for the FOX network. "Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experience. He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show,” he said, adding, “Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show." As for Tuesday morning, the petition had received more than 39,100 signatures and counting. Following the petition’s success, the Facebook page “R.I.P. Brian Griffin from Family Guy” was also created in an effort to promote the cause, a page which had over 368,100 likes Tuesday.
While “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane has yet to publicly comment on the demise (one of the many characters he voices on the program) producer Steve Callaghan confirmed to E! News Sunday that the character was officially not returning to the series. According to Callaghan, the show's writers felt it necessary for the longtime series to make a change, the change being the unfortunate and sudden demise of one of its lead character. “It seemed more in the realm of reality that a dog would get hit by a car,” he said, adding, “As much as we love Brian, and as much as everyone loves their pets, we felt it would be more traumatic to lose one of the kids.”
Despite Callaghan’s statements, the web has been abuzz with rumors that Brian may actually make a return during the program's current 12th-season run. According to a report from ComicBook.com, the show’s Wiki page contains Brian’s name in two upcoming episodes titles set to premiere next year. The episodes titled “Brian’s a Bad Father“ and “Brian the Closer" have fans questioning if the talking dog is really no longer.
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Brian has since been replaced by the character of Vinny the dog, a similar talking household pet voiced by actor Tony Sirico of "The Sopranos" fame.