This is a big week for Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy, with the series leaving its long-running homes at TBS and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block for exclusive pastures over at FXX and Freeform (and streaming on Hulu). But this week is a big week for MacFarlane and the folks behind the long-running animated series for an entirely different reason. This week saw the premiere of a PSA meant to increase public awareness & education about the COVID-19 vaccine, with Peter debating whether or not he should get the shot. In the three-minute animated short below, Stewie and Brian go the Fantastic Voyage route to explain to Peter why being vaccinated is important for him and those around him; and how the more folks vaccinated in as timely a manner as possible can keep the virus from mutating (we won't spoil the jokes along the way).
MacFarlane led the writers' room in developing the concept of the short, inviting a team of scientific experts and epidemiologists into the process to make sure that the most up-to-date medical information was being conveyed. Fuzzy Door, 20th Television Animation, Fox Entertainment, and the Ad Council's "It's Up To You" Covid-19 Vaccine Education Initiative produced the project:
Along with the deal for Family Guy, FXX also has non-exclusive rights to Matt Groening's Futurama and will add that to the network's line-up in November. As expected, the new deal means that there will be a lot more Family Guy (as well as The Cleveland Show) on FXX and Freeform, second only to The Simpsons when it comes to screen exposure. Beginning this Monday, September 20, the animated series will have blocks of programming over six nights and across both channels. Family Guy will air weekly Monday–Tuesday (8 pm-midnight), Thursday (8-10 pm), Saturday (8 pm-midnight), and Sunday (10 pm-midnight) on FXX. On Freeform, the series will air from 1 pm to 11 pm on Fridays.
"We were proud to work with some of the nation's leading immunologists and epidemiologists on this PSA. And while we never understood a single note they gave us, we took them all," said Family Guy EP and Showrunners Rich Appel & Alec Sulkin in a statement. "With millions of Americans still unsure about getting vaccinated against COVID-19, it's more important than ever that we have smart, informative, and entertaining messages like this that will boost confidence in the vaccines," added Lisa Sherman, President & CEO of the Ad Council. "This new work from Seth MacFarlane and the team at 'Family Guy' is bringing critical vaccine information to audiences in a fresh and hilarious way that will surely inspire people to take the next step in slowing the pandemic. We are grateful to our partners at Disney and Fox for their passion and collaboration at this pivotal moment in time."