Has the first piece of the Seth MacFarlane media empire on Fox fallen to the wayside? Nothing is confirmed, but the future of “The Cleveland Show” does not appear to be particularly bright.
In news that was first reported earlier in the day by Cartoon Brew, Fox has opted not to bring the animated “Family Guy” spin-off show back for a fifth season. This is consistently the lowest-rated of the MacFarlane shows, and at one point it was even saddled with the bizarre 7:30 p.m. timeslot prior to the start of the “Animation Domination” lineup.
Fox has yet to comment on the report, but it would not be a surprise, given how it has long been a long-standing rule to cancel the lowest-rated show on your lineup to make way for something else. This is why “Partners” left CBS this past fall, and why we’re likely to see “Rules of Engagement” go as well.
If the show does end up getting cancelled, it is actually possible that Fox could change their lineup and put MacFarlane’s new live-action comedy “Dads,” which already has an episode commitment, into the Sunday night lineup. While it does go against the animation theme, “Malcolm in the Middle” proved for many years that you don’t have to be a cartoon to do well at a time in which there are no other comedies on network TV.
This has been a rough week for MacFarlane in many ways, as Fox recently pulled an episode of “Family Guy” from its website and Hulu after someone spliced together footage to make it appear as though the show simulated the bombing at the Boston Marathon prior to the event ultimately happening. The comic later blasted this on Twitter, calling the footage “abhorrent” and saying that he had nothing but sympathy for the victims and their families.