Family Guy (partially found unaired pitch pilot episode of animated series; 1998)

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Original logo as seen in the pilot.

Status: Partially Found

Family Guy is an animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane that premiered on January 31th, 1999. Before it's premiere, there was a 15-minute unaired pilot made sometime in 1998. This pilot would eventually become the series premiere, Death Has a Shadow. Many differences from the final version can be seen throughout this pilot, such as different clothing, different character designs, and multiple scenes that were eventually cut. Aside from that, there's not much that's different from the final.


FOX gave Seth MacFarlane a fairly small budget to create the pilot, namely $50,000, while most half-hour animated pilots cost about $1 million. Seth spent six months animating the pilot out of his house, and co-created the pilot with Jim Keeshen Productions. Jim Keeshen reportedly took all credit for making the pilot, and filed a lawsuit against FOX and Seth MacFarlane on June 1st, 1999 (which was quickly dismissed on December 28th, 2000).


The first 7 minutes of the pilot can be found online, but the rest of the pilot is replaced with a "Coming Soon" bumper. The rest of the pilot remains lost, and the only proof of its existence is through low-quality images from Tripod, a few images on the official IMDb page and a few articles on Blogspot. However, some short snippets of the pilot can be found in an interview with Seth MacFarlane and an early commercial for the show.


The first 7 minutes of the pilot.
1999 interview with Seth MacFarlane, containing footage from the pilot.
Commercial for Family Guy containing footage of the pilot (1:05:25-1:05:38).

External Links