This news passed through our inboxes late last week, but we're only now picking our jaws up off the ground and formulating coherent thoughts about the situation. Fox is teaming up with Microsoft by letting the computer giant sponsor 30 minutes of a Family Guy special that features live (as in non-animated, not LIVE live) performances of Family Guy musical numbers and plenty of Microsoft jokes in an effort to promote their new Windows 7 operating system.
Fox is treating the situation like we should all feel freakin' blessed about the whole thing, touting a commercial-free thirty minutes of Seth MacFarlane and his overflowing pockets prancing about a stage and introducing video clips of Peter Griffin virtually fellating a computer operating system. Here's an excerpt from Fox's press release:
"While the way people watch TV has evolved, their desire to be entertained, and marketers' need to deliver compelling content, hasn't changed. Microsoft and FOX are joining forces to showcase how the power and simplicity of Windows 7 can enhance blah blah blah..." Okay we added the blahs, but you get the idea.
MacFarlane is walking a tightrope here. A few years ago, he had a ton of "cred" among the kids and was hailed by many as one of television's greatest new forces. Remember his stance on the writers strike? He fought the power (Fox) and called them "dicks." Awesome stuff.
But we all love to tear our idols apart as quickly as we push a pedestal underneath them, and the backlash has been in full effect. Yes, his shows are still doing well in the ratings on Sunday nights, but overexposure is unkind and with Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show dominating Sundays, well, that's a heck of a lot of Seth.
Selling out to Microsoft (and let's not pretend that this stunt is anything other than selling out) may be the last straw, even for stoners who normally wouldn't have enough sense to pick up the remote and change the channel. Check the clip below and get ready to be underwhelmed!
Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show airs November 8 on Fox.