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Family Guy is an American animated television sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian. The show uses frequent cutaway gags, often in the form of tangential vignettes which parody American culture.
MacFarlane conceived Family Guy after developing two animated films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. MacFarlane redesigned the films' protagonist Larry and his dog Steve, and renamed them Peter and Brian. Shortly after the third season of Family Guy aired in 2001, Fox canceled the series. However, favorable DVD sales and high ratings for syndicated reruns convinced the network to renew the show in 2004. The series takes place in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island, based on MacFarlane's upbringing and education. Family Guy has also received negative criticism, including unfavorable comparisons for its similarities to The Simpsons. The series spawned two spin-offs, American Dad and The Cleveland Show.