Fox Nixes Sunday's Original Episodes of 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad'

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

December 14th, 2012

Fox is replacing scheduled originals of Family Guy and American Dad with repeats of the shows according to The Futon Critic. Fox gave no official reason for the change, but it's believed the episodes include "sensitive content in light of today's tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut."

The original episodes of The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show and Bob's Burgers are still schedule to air, though the 7p repeat of 'Cleveland' has been replaced with a different repeat.
  • r0ckmypants

    @Laura – That’s a little different. “Earshot” was a look into the psyche of the American teenager, and it wasn’t JUST because there was a mass murder planned at the high school (which is bad enough considering Columbine was what we consider “the first” of these shootings)… it was because it showed how bleak and disturbing the thoughts of teens are. Then add in the fact that there’s a scene in which Jonathan loads an assault rifle, and I totally get pulling that episode.

    These are CHRISTMAS episodes of two ANIMATED COMEDIES. Not even close to the same situation. Silly. Almost as silly as pulling the hurricane episodes because there was a tornado in the middle of the country.

  • David Howell

    Ultimately, whatever the moral arguments either way, networks are businesses. That’s why they cancel shows that don’t get the advertising dollars to justify renewal, as everyone on this site knows.

    It’s also why they shelve episodes in circumstances like these. The reputational damage if they were aired could hit their bottom line (potentially for some time to come) through viewer/advertiser boycotts, etc. – and so they don’t air, at least not immediately.

    There’s even precedent within the Animation Domination strand for episodes to be moved, as pointed out in the Futon Critic article – the hurricane crossover night slated for April 2011 got moved to October 2012 (ironically, just before Sandy) because of major tornado damage across the South that was headline news at the time of the initially slated airing.

  • r0ckmypants

    @David – The hurricane crossover aired in October 2011, not 2012.

  • David Howell

    Ah, I stand corrected. Misread the article, think it was because it said “that year” and I read it as “this year”. :)

    Either way, there’s plenty of precedent. National, and international. Heck, as pointed out in another thread, very similar circumstances two years ago in the UK caused a hugely popular soap to postpone a serial killer storyline for three consecutive nights, resuming again on the following Monday. And that involved replacing a hugely serialized show, and the #1 show on the network, with a clip show.

  • tjw


    They also postponed the Buffy season finale that year for two months because it involved them blowing up the school. So it wasn’t just about the thoughts of teenagers.

  • david

    Good decission by fox to not show the episodes now. The two shows make fun of society and how things are handled. I do actionally watch American Dad by the way too.

  • Herb Finn

    I wonder if they will attempt to edit these episodes to remove the offending content and air them next week?

  • Avery

    The episodes for next Sunday might be the Christmas episodes of Family Guy and American Dad, possibly.

  • Breed

    So we give the shooter more power and notoriety by allowing his actions to affect network programming. Great example to set for other psychos — “Hey, I can make Fox change its lineup!”

    There is only one way to treat these psychopaths, and Lisa Simpson herself said it: “Just don’t look.” If the media wouldn’t glorify their actions, it’s possible some of these wackos might not do things like this.

  • rob60990

    I agree, this whole pulling of episodes is getting a bit overly crazy.

  • ToXiX



    Just because something like that happens doesn’t mean pull episodes of cartoons it means air them because people may not be here the week after to See them.

  • ToXiX

    Because they got killed in some bullshyt that caused the episodes to be pushed back.

  • Networkman

    I know about the Jack Reacher’s premiere being postponed. But what about the movies that are already in the theaters that have violent content? What about not showing them this weekend. And is there really a connection between the Jack Reacher movie and the horrible situation that occurred in Connecticut? I agree with Thomas who stated that there is always violence happening. What about soldiers who are killed everyday defending the country but there is no problems disrespecting their parents and continuing to show tv programs and movies about war… I know this incident was tragic. We all don’t like that the lives of innocent children were taken. But when our soldiers die, they are the children of mothers and fathers. No matter what age or circumstance, loss of life should be respected across the board. I don’t understand how one is to determine the time length of when it is acceptable to show offensive material when tragedies occur.

  • DeanW

    FOX already did it six years ago with Bones. The episode “Player Under Pressure” was delayed because of the Virginia Tech massacre. The episode was scheduled to air during season 2 but was delayed to season 3. It makes me think that FOX will air the episodes next year when it will be less paintful to watch it (tomorrow is too soon).

  • The End


    Oh dear. Show some Empathy please, there’s more to life than a cartoon, understand that what has happened recently is a tragic event, 20 children aged between 5-10 years won’t be seeing Christmas this year, networks are simply showing some respect towards what has happened and understanding.

    You will eventually see the episodes, there is no cause for outrage at all.

  • Jay228

    Sure, the shootings are sad, but there’s no way to stop these types of things from happening, so the best thing to do is get over them quickly and return to normal life. Having endless news coverage and postponing shows out of “compassion” or what have you really makes me angry.

  • The End


    Why does it make you angry? This is a hard time for people, and something networks have to recognise given the content of some of the episodes due to go to air. This won’t last forever and won’t be something that will happen to every single show on the air.

    Airing certain things would be seen as being in bad taste by your audience. And would cast you in a bad light.

  • Jase

    FOX, like Syfy, made the right decision. There’s nothing wrong with showing some level of compassion and decency during this (and any other) difficult/tragic time. How anyone can find fault in that reasoning is beyond me.

  • Master Moron

    We find fault in it because it’s cowardly.

  • The End

    @Master Moron

    Never has a name suited someone so well.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures