Thanks goes to Deadline for this scoop. Looks like the Seth MacFarlane mainstays Family Guy and American Dad! have been renewed for eleventh and ninth seasons, respectively (Deadline is wrong about the season numbers for both but there’s a lot of confusion about the number of seasons for American Dad!, even on FOX’s part which we will explain momentarily). We’re not really surprised about Family Guy because that property has just been gold after coming back for good after two cancellations in 2005, but how times have changed for American Dad!. Last year, the concern was whether or not the under-appreciated animated comedy would make it past the May upfront cuts and then FOX surprised everyone by committing to it through 2012 – 2013 three months in advance of the upfronts.
At the time, back in February, 2011 this was a little confusing because in the press release headline it stated that the show was getting a “seventh term” (seventh season) through 2012 – 2013. We noted then that those numbers didn’t jive because at the time of the announcement, American Dad was in its sixth season, already. Don’t bother checking with IMDb to prove us wrong on this one because they’re mistaken, as well. FOX considers the first seven episodes of American Dad! which include the pilot on Super Bowl Sunday and the six episodes in May and June of 2005 along with the 16 that aired from September 2005 through May 2006 to be the official first season of the show. The first seven episodes are not considered a standalone season (they make the same mistake with Family Guy’s first season, as well). Believe it or not, Netflix spells it out perfectly in the episode selection section of their streaming service.
Really, when you think about it, it makes more sense because a standard episode order for a season is 22 episodes, as a freshman mid-season replacement American Dad! got seven and then 16 on the back-end to make 23 (close enough). It’s not particularly uncommon for any new show to get a small order initially with an option for more episodes but it’s all considered part of the first season.
That being said, the show being in its sixth season last year then would mean that the seventh season would go through the 2011 – 2012 season and not the 2012 – 2013 season as that press release indicated and today’s news from Deadline actually clears up a lot of confusion about the contradictory information in the press release, whether Deadline intended this or not.
As Deadline notes, 20th Century Fox Television has a full season of episodes in the can ready to go in September 2012. Despite the fact that they are incorrect about the season number claiming that the show is currently in its sixth season and that the shows in the can are for an upcoming seventh season (we don’t know where they came up with that, because unlike IMDb, they’re going the wrong way with their mistake, for both Family Guy and American Dad!. IMDb’s error at least makes sense.), the information regarding the fact that they have already produced next season’s episodes confirms that the the announcement of renewal last year, as the press release implied when stating that the renewal would be “… bringing the series through the 2012-2013 season” was, indeed, renewal for two seasons, the series’ seventh and eighth.
So, to clarify, American Dad! was renewed for seasons seven and eight in February, 2011. We are currently nearing the end of season seven. Season eight’s episodes have already been produced and are ready to begin airing in September, 2012 to kick off the 2012 -2013 season. Deadline has reported that American Dad! has been renewed, yet again, for a ninth season to air during the 2013 -2014 season.
We couldn’t be more thrilled about this news because as we’ve noted before, as much as we’ve always loved Family Guy, American Dad! has consistently been far funnier since Family Guy‘s relaunch.
In other news that makes us at least optimistic, the very unfunny Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show has not been renewed as of yet with FOX holding off on the decision to see how well it does this fall.
In news that occurred when we were apparently asleep at the switch, back in January, FOX renewed the vomit-inducingly bad Bob’s Burgers for a third season but no word has come as of yet for the fate of the surprisingly likable Napoleon Dynamite which we expected would be a disaster but has turned out to be quite enjoyable.