Fans of the long-running Fox animated series "Family Guy" are howling about Sunday’s sudden plot twist, with many of them refusing to take it lying down. (Spoiler alert.)
The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that fans of the show have started a petition to bring back Brian, the talking family dog on the comedy series, who was killed in the latest episode, as we reported yesterday.
“Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experince [sic]. He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show. ‘Family Guy’ and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show,” the petition reads.
“They killed America’s dog!” it adds.
The Change.org petition got up to speed Monday morning, and had gained more than 28,000 supporters as of Tuesday morning.
The show killed Brian by having him hit by a car. The show’s executive producer said the decision was made to kill off a character as a “fun way to shake things up.”
Still, some fans are suspicious about Brian’s death, Nellie Andreeva writes on Deadline.com.
“After all, Stewie is in possession of a (temporarily not working) time machine he and Brian had frequently used. If they were able to prevent a cataclysmic event like 9/11 in the controversial 2011 episode, altering the circumstances that led to Brian’s death should be a piece of cake once the machine is working again,” she writes.
One issue that complicates a potential return is that the Griffin family has adopted a new dog, Vinny, who is voiced by “The Sopranos” actor Tony Sirico, the piece notes. Sirico is slated for six episodes, but could become a regular, Andreeva writes.
She adds, “Still, Brian has been one of ‘Family Guy’s’ most popular characters, and along with Stewie, is probably the show’s top merchandise property. It doesn’t make a lot of business sense to kill off one of your top cash cows.”
Producer 20th TV would not comment for the Deadline story when asked about Brian’s chances for a comeback, Andreeva notes, adding: "Truth be told, it would be a financial boon for 20th TV to reap the benefits of the inevitable spike in sales of Brian-themed toys and other collectibles in the wake of his death and then have the character come back."
Here’s "Family Guy’s" Brian Griffin tribute clip: