[11/19/03 - 12:00 AM] 'Family Guy,' 'Farscape' May Get Second Lives By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)
CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Two of television's most popular canceled series - "Family Guy" and "Farscape" - are well on their way to getting second broadcast lives.
The former, which ran for three seasons on FOX from 1999-2002, is close to resuming production according to a story published in this morning's USA Today. Thanks to stunning DVD sales and record numbers on cable's Cartoon Network, distributor 20th Century FOX is reportedly considering putting the animated comedy back in production for 35 new episodes, the majority of which could be ready for a January 2005 start date on a to be determined network. Should it go forward, the news would mark the first time a show has been revived thanks to its back-end performance in home video and syndication.
April's DVD release of the first 28 episodes of "Family Guy" sold nearly one million copies and so far is the top-selling TV show of 2003 not to mention the fourth best-selling TV title of all time according to a recent report in Video Store Magazine. A second collection, which contained the 22 remaining produced episodes, has sold 520,000 copies since going on sale in September. As for its syndicated run on Cartoon Network, the series has broken the channel's top scores in several key demographics not once (read the story), not twice (read the story) but at least three times (read the story) since joining its Adult Swim lineup earlier this year.
Meanwhile, fellow canceled series "Farscape" also appears to be headed back into production. The show's resurrection campaign web site, SaveFarscape.com, is reporting that work is set to begin on a new four-hour "Farscape" mini-series beginning next month. While producer Jim Henson Company has yet to confirm the news, the site says the information comes from "a trustworthy and solid source." No distribution plans however were revealed (i.e. a return to Sci Fi Channel, a different network or a straight to video/DVD release).
For the original USA Today report about "Family Guy" click here. For SaveFarscape.com's story click here.