Sunday, May 01, 2005

Family Guy Returns

Tonight I have seen the return of the show Family Guy. After being cancelled in 2002, Family Guy has found its audience through DVD sales (see article on DVD Shows) and reruns on the Cartoon Network. Why this show did not become popular during it's initial run from 1999-2002 is not clear, but sometimes good shows and movies become popular with time. The Shawshank Redemption is the best example of a movie that became popular after it hit VHS in 1995. The film was nominated for Best Picture against Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction, yet the majority of people who have seen the film did not see until it had left the theaters. Few films develop the following that the Shawshank Redemption has, and unfortunately, fewer television shows gain an audience after cancellation. The producers of the Shawshank Redemption may have not made the profits that they deserved from the theaters, but those profits came through sales of the movie on DVD and VHS. To win the Oscar for Best Picture usually gives a film a successful life on the shelves at DVD stores, but you'll probably see more copies of the Shawshank Redeption at any store than you would see copies of Shakespeare in Love.

Family Guy, like all TV Shows, had to depend on developing an audience while on TV to stay on the air. A movie is made before being shown in the theaters, and frankly, whether or not it has gained an audience in the theater does not affect my ability to see the entire film on DVD. Television shows, however, will have fewer seasons if they do not find an audience. I would rather see many seasons of my favorite shows than see a few of them. The more people who enjoy a television show, the more likely the network will keep the show on the air, until people feel that the show has had been on long enough (like Friends or Sex And The City). Family Guy was not on long enough for those who enjoyed the show to feel that it had run its course. Those who began to see the show in reruns or on DVD (like myself) wanted the show to be brought back on television. The audience for Family Guy began to grow, and executives at Fox were realizing that if they brought the show back on television, it would have a large audience. I do not know yet what the ratings will be for tonight's show, but I am grateful that Family Guy has a second chance to earn the ratings that it deserves.

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