Last night, Fox aired the first new episode of Family Guy since February 2002. For the first time ever, a show that was canceled has come back years later due to home video (and cable reruns). This is a clear display how a new technology and a new medium, DVD, can affect an established medium like television. And how a great product can find a large audience, if just given the chance.
What this comeback clearly illustrates is that the consumer can have a direct affect on a big industry. And that industry can really benefit if they pay close attention to the consumer. It often seems that the entertainment industry doesn’t pay attention. They make sequels to bad films, they create mediocre copy-cat TV shows, and they cancel critically-favored shows or kill long-awaited films in preproduction.
But maybe Family Guy will be the first of a series of comebacks. And it was an unlikely return. Between the mature subject matter and the sensitive climate ever since a certain Super Bowl half-time show, it was more likely that more ‘extreme’ or ‘edgy’ material would be canceled. Instead Family Guy rose from the ashes, years later. Let us hope such a trend continues and beloved shows start popping back up (or not canceled at all), for the sake of the public, and for the corporations’ net profit.