The Television Critics Association Press Tour is going to be crawling with TVWeek staffers. Check this space for observations from the presentations, hallway chatter and the dope on who was misbehaving at the parties. TVWeek’s Jon Lafayette, Josef Adalian, Andrew Krukowski, Sergio Ibarra and Vlada Gelman all will post as they scour the scene for news.


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Live-Blogging the Fox Animation TCA Panel

July 14, 2008 5:37 PM

Fox Animation TCA Panel

ANIMATED: Richard Appel, left, and Mike Henry ("The Cleveland Show"), Matt Weitzman and Mike Barker ("American Dad"), Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy," "American Dad"), John Altschuler and Mike Judge ("King of the Hill") and Al Jean and Matt Groening ("The Simpsons") take part in the Fox animation panel.

We're getting set for the last panel of the day here at Fox, the animation panel. We've got all the usual suspects, including cutaway joke guru Seth MacFarlane, "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening and "King of the Hill's" Mike Judge.

5:52 p.m.: Right out of the gate from Mr. MacFarlane: "Is that where Karl Rove sat? 'Cause I don't want to get AIDS."

5:54 p.m.: A critic just zinged the nine-man panel by asking a question for the women and minorities on the panel (there are none). Refuting that, 40% of the writing staff on "King of the Hill" are women and members of "The Cleveland Show" writing staff are African American. But, Mr. MacFarlane did say that animation just happens to be dominated by white men.

5:57 p.m.: Mr. Groening says the Emmy animation award should be split between adult animation and children's animation.

5:59 p.m.: Mr. MacFarlane agrees with Fox's strategy of putting animation all night on Sunday, as opposed to spreading it out across the week. He said if you were to put on an episode of "Seinfeld" after "The Simpsons," it would feel slow and sluggish.

6:03 p.m.: How will "American Dad" change if Obama is elected president? To see him deal with the other side, it's going to be an opportunity, "American Dad's" Mike Barker says. "We're looking forward to it for more reasons than one."

6:07 p.m.: When "The Simpsons" is finally finished, what will the DVD box set look like? Mr. Groening says he received a current bootleg complete set of "The Simpsons," and it was 99 DVDs.

6:10 p.m.: Mr. MacFarlane on overlap between other Fox animation shows: "We're telling stories that they've told on 'The Cosby Show' or 'Family Ties.'"

6:12 p.m.: "The Empire Strikes Back" episode of "Family Guy" is essentially done, Mr. MacFarlane. It just needs to be shipped overseas to be animated. Seth Rogen is writing an episode of "The Simpsons" that has Comic Book Guy creating a superhero who becomes a movie, and Homer plays the lead. Mr. Rogen plays Homer's personal trainer.

6:15 p.m.: Mr. MacFarlane says nobody on the panel would be there without "The Simpsons."

6:18 p.m.: "The Cleveland Show's" Richard Appel says it's a lot easier to make an animated show funnier because you get more stabs at the script, and can make changes right up until show date.

Seth MacFarlane

FATHER FIGURE: Seth MacFarlane, creator of "Family Guy" and "American Dad"

6:21 p.m.: "Star Wars" is a huge franchise to parody, but is there anything else "Family Guy" could devote a full double episode to? Mr. MacFarlane says, "If Paramount would let us do ["Star Trek II:] 'Wrath of Khan,' that would be the coolest thing." He adds that "Star Wars" works because a majority of the show's fans know the movie line for line, but Lucasfilm is pretty generous with the license, too.

6:26 p.m.: Mike Judge said previously that he had created a series finale for "King of the Hill," but after the series was renewed several times, it was retooled and aired. He didn't give specifics as to which episode it was.

6:32 p.m.: There will be zero crossover between "The Cleveland Show" and "Family Guy," Mike Henry says.

6:33 p.m.: Matt Groening says he's happy about the recent negotiations between the cast of "The Simpsons." "I want to them to be as rich and unhappy as anyone else in Hollywood," he says.

All through. We're back tomorrow with FX.

—Andrew Krukowski


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