Family Guy fans were outraged when an episode titled Life of Brian aired in the states a few weeks ago, which killed off the family dog in an horrific hit and run.
And it seemed that this change was to be permanent, with new dog Vinny (voiced by Sopranos actor Tony Sirico) filling the role as the familys anthropomorphic pet. But last Sunday fans were greatly relieved as a Christmas themed episode brought the beloved Brian back from the dead. It would seem to the casual viewer that the producers simply gave in to fan petitions and outcry and re-instated the character, but with the nine months of production time that goes into each episode, its clear that it was the plan to bring Brian back all along.
And it seems it forms a special Christmas message from Family Guy, with show creator Seth McFarlane tweeting that they would never kill off Brian, but the ones you care about shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Of course the cynics out there will no doubt assume that this has all been part of an elaborate scheme to boost ratings and interest in the show, but either way, fans can breathe a sigh of relief that their favourite cartoon canine character is alive and well. Merry Christmas, indeed.