Family Guy is in hot water for killing off Brian, the family dog, who has been with the show since its pilot episode in 1999. Brian was hit and killed by a car during the episode “Life of Brian,” which brought tears to the eyes of many viewers.
While the show’s producers understood the backlash they would likely get from killing off one of the main characters, especially Brian, they did so anyway. Before it aired, E! Online sat down with executive producer Steve Callaghan to talk about Brian’s death. He explained about the painful decision:
“We though it could be a fun way to shake things up. It seemed more in the realm of a reality that a dog would get hit by a car. As much as we love Brian, and as much as everyone loves their pets, we felt it would be more traumatic to lose one of the kids, rather than the family pet.”
That didn’t sit too well with fans, who wrote on Twitter:
— H a n n a h (@HannahKing9) November 25, 2013
— ✰JohnnySweatpants✰ (@Thee_JohnMerola) November 25, 2013
Why would #familyguy kill off one of THE smartest characters, and leave all the dumb ones?
— Faith Reneè (@avesomefaith) November 25, 2013
— Shelby Sutherland (@sutherland93) November 25, 2013
Why couldn’t they kill Chris instead? #familyguy
— Sanim ツ (@SanimTamu) November 25, 2013
Cast members Mila Kunis and Seth Green were surprised to hear about the death of Brian, which already sparked several hashtags on Twitter, including #BringBackBrian. Despite the backlash now, Callaghan doesn’t anticipate it affecting the show in the long-run. He explained, “Our fans are smart enough and have been loyal to our show for long enough to know that they can trust us.”
But does that mean Brian will come back somehow, some way? Not likely. Instead, the Griffins adopted Vinny, a fast-talking new dog, shortly after Brian’s death. Vinny helps Stewie cope in the aftermath of Brian’s death. While the episode did have the intended effect of shaking things up, we’re not so sure it was a good thing.