Family Guy
Meet Vinny, the new "Family Guy" character voiced by former "Sopranos" star Tony Sirico. Fox/ Screenshot


In a move that surprised and shocked fans, “Family Guy” killed off a character … for good … in season 12 episode 6. Fans of the Fox show bid adieu to the Griffins' dog, Brian, in the Nov. 24 episode, “Life of Brian.”

Appearing in every episode of “Family Guy” since its 1999 pilot, the 8-year-old white Labrador met an unfortunate death in episode 6 when he was hit by a car. A mind-blowing moment for the animated series, fans got another shocker when Brian was immediately replaced … by Vinny, a dog from the pound.

In “Life of Brian,” Stewie had just dismantled his time machine and was ultimately unable to turn back time to save Brian. The result was Brian flat-lining due to the severity of his injuries and the Griffins deciding to adopt Vinny.

So, who is Vinny? Quite possibly the complete opposite of Brian! (While Brian used to drink martinis, Vinny prefers canned beer.)

Vinny is a “pussy hound,” which means that he’s 1/16th cat. A mutt with a bit of an attitude, Vinny met Peter when the Griffins visited the pet store. After a brief chat with the Griffin patriarch, Peter decided to take Vinny home, and he immediately began to bond with everyone … except Stewie.

However, Stewie and Vinny shared a sweet moment when Stewie admitted that he’s not thrilled about the new dog.

“He was my best friend,” Stewie explains about Brian. And it turns out that Vinny is in a similar situation.

“Look, Stewie,” Vinny tells the kid. “I once had a thing that happened to me with some stuff.”

It’s revealed that Vinny used to be owned by an old man named Leo. The pair lived in a tiny apartment and Leo was Vinny’s whole world … until he passed away, just like Brian. (Leo didn’t get hit by a car; he died after trying to go to yoga class and on the first pose, “his ballsack split in half.”)

“Leo was kind of like my Brian,” Vinny continued. The dog felt that the Griffins had the same feelings of loss and thought “maybe we were meant to be together.”

“Family Guy” executive producer Steve Callaghan explained to E! Online that they decided to introduce Vinny because they thought he’d be a good fit for Stewie.

“They’re very different,” Callaghan said of Brian and Vinny. “Brian was very smart and studious and intellectual, and Vinny is just a lot more rough around the edges.”

While Stewie won’t be “intellectually” matched by Brian, fans can look forward to seeing Vinny interact with the youngest Griffin because “he doesn’t let Stewie get away with any crap.”

“He’ll call Stewie out on his B.S. freely,” Callaghan explained.

This of course isn’t the first time the Griffins lost a beloved pet. Before Brian, the Griffins had a dog named Todd. Appearing in season 4 episode 23, “Deep Throats,” it was revealed that Peter was forced to put Todd down because of old age. He was 15 years old.

“Family Guy” returns to Fox with a new episode on Sunday, Dec. 8.