The future has not been written, except for the part where humanity ends up with a second Terminator TV show in six years. Following The Sarah Connor Chronicles — and completely breaking away from it — Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures are working on a new series to launch in tandem with their 2015 franchise reboot. Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller, cowriters on Thor and X-Men: First Class, as well as story editors on Sarah Connor Chronicles, will write and executive produce the show. It sounds a little rehash-y and blah until you read that the story "will follow a critical moment from the first Terminator film (1984) and, where the film's story goes one way, the upcoming series will take the same moment in a completely different direction. As the rebooted film trilogy and the new TV series progress, the two narratives will intersect with each other in surprising and dramatic ways." That sounds cool.
Less than 48 hours after Brian Griffin's demise and immediate replacement on Family Guy, a countdown site appeared. Promising "A Special Announcement from Brian" and underscored as "A Fox Production," the clock hinted at a major Griffin-related development in 10 days. Now the digits have zipped down to zero days and 18 hours, and Deadline has word from 20th Century Fox TV that the site is a hoax. We'll see about that, huh? Gawker did a little digging and found numerous hints that future episodes might involve Brian.
In a successful bid to break into the SPOILER ALERT!! market, Family Guy offed Brian, the Griffins' pet dog/intellectual. The character had appeared in every episode of the show's 12 seasons. Unlike the advance warning The Simpsonsgave for an impending death this year, Family Guy seems to have surprised its fans. Not only was Brian's demise unceremonious and ugly (a silver car fishtails around a suburban corner and barrels straight at Brian, seemingly intent to kill; Brian thumps under the wheels, mangled; a squirrel boots Brian's face and says he sucked), but the aftermath was uncomfortably serious, set to soaring tearjerker strings. Brian's death came with barely a punch line, but it also came with a replacement: Vinny.
With Seth MacFarlane's unlikely debut as Oscars host a scant few months away, the Academy's designated lightning rod is now hitting the campaign trail and drumming up support. Which is how, on Wednesday, a class of UCLA undergrads found themselves mere inches away from the rich, luxuriously tanned of face of MacFarlane himself: As EW reports, the Mitt Romney of Animation (he's rich and successful with highly vocal detractors? Also he's technically wholesome but really very creepy? I don't know, this falls apart if you examine it any further) showed up unannounced to introduce an MTV-sponsored contest, the Oscar Experience College Search. (They're looking for kids who wanna work in the biz, and the winners get to present an award at the Oscars. This makes perfect sense as a prize, as presenting an an award at the Oscars is pretty much the only foolproof way left to launch a Hollywood career.) And while taking some questions from the kids, MacFarlane let it be known that a Family Guy movie is now "just a matter of when. It’s hard to do that while you have the series going on at the same time; I think that’s why it took The Simpsons 20 seasons to figure out how to do it."
Seth MacFarlane doesn’t need your money, and he doesn’t need your respect. After nearly a decade of benevolent dictatorship over the Family Guy empire — TBS syndication residuals and belching Peter Griffin plush dolls as far as the eye can see! — MacFarlane has succeeded to the point where his children’s children’s children will be able to skip lines at douchey clubs. There is a vocal, highly influential minority, however, that shuns MacFarlane, his particular brand of aggressive humor, and all his minions like he was 2005 Dane Cook. And where that minority now comes into play is that, this week, MacFarlane steps out of his sheltered role as the reigning don of animation and into the dicier territory of the multiplex.