Seth MacFarlane Has Been Trying To Get Family Guy Canceled For Years

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Seth MacFarlane has had a love/hate relationship with Fox for decades, starting in 1999 when the upstart broadcast network took a risk and aired the first three seasons of Family Guy. Since then, the show has been canceled, brought back, and turned into a centerpiece for the network as the anchor for Animation Domination, but in recent years, MacFarlane’s relationship with Fox has fallen apart.

With Disney owning the show after purchasing Fox’s assets in 2019, a strange game of political brinksmanship has broken out between MacFarlane, Fox, and Disney. In a questionable decision made by Fox, for the first time, Family Guy will be a mid-season replacement.

Mid-Season Replacement

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Notably, this is the final year of Seth MacFarlane’s contract with Fox, so in 2025, Family Guy will be airing on a new home, and given how the majority of its audience streams the series on Hulu, it’s likely going to be streaming-only, With the knowledge that Family Guy is heading out the door with no chance of returning to Fox, it makes sense that the coveted Sunday night spot will instead be used on newer animated shows, like Krapopolis and Universal Basic Guys.

Years Of Frustration With Fox

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For years, Seth MacFarlane has expressed his frustration with Fox, often tempered by his appreciation for the network’s support. It’s been an open secret that he wants to jump ship to Disney.

To his credit, MacFarlane has stated in multiple interviews that he appreciates Fox’s hands-off approach to the often controversial series, especially since the left-leaning creator makes Fox News the butt of plenty of Family Guy’s jokes. The biggest public blow-up between the two came in 2020 when MacFarlane publicly attacked Fox over its support of Tucker Carlson and signed a developmental deal with NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast).

Disney Is Not Being Subtle

Since Disney’s purchase of Fox, which notably did not include the broadcast channel, MacFarlane has produced multiple Family Guy streaming specials for Hulu. Last month, it was announced that two Hulu Original specials will be broadcast each year. New episodes of the series have also been streaming the day after they air on Fox, which, though unsaid, is probably also part of the rationale behind messing with the series’ air dates.

Cancelation Would Mean Freedom

As for getting Family Guy canceled, if Fox decided to cancel the show, it would terminate the existing contract between the network and MacFarlane, leaving him free to pursue a new one with Disney. To his credit, Macfarlane has not been undermining the show’s quality, with a few bangers since the sale to Disney, like “Bend or Blockbuster” and “80s Guy.”

Idealogical Differences

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Unlike the love/hate relationship with Fox, Seth MacFarlane has expressed nothing but adulation for Disney, going beyond the working relationship to praising the company’s political stances. It’s no secret that the Family Guy creator is a major donor to liberal causes, even making it known that a large part of what he makes from Fox broadcasts has gone towards environmental and conservation groups.

A Future With Disney

It’s always been the case that the real drama in Hollywood isn’t on screen; it’s taking place in offices and boardrooms, with massive creative decisions being influenced by the smallest of business moves. Seth MacFarlane has gone on record that he doesn’t see Family Guy ending anytime soon, but it’s true that when the Summer of 2025 rolls around and the contract with Fox has run its course, even new episodes will only be found on Disney-owned networks.

And that’s exactly how Seth MacFarlane wants it.