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'American Dad' Follows 'Family Guy' Formula to DVD

20 Apr, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Stupendous DVD sales of “Family Guy” not only brought the once-canceled show back on the air, but also led to the release of a feature-length direct-to-video movie, Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story.

Now, creator Seth MacFarlane is hoping the DVD debut of “American Dad,” his latest series, will likewise lead to a direct-to-video feature.

“It's already been talked about very seriously,” he said. “The only reason it hasn't gotten underway yet is time — building time into the schedule that doesn't distract from the show.”

The “Family Guy” movie was made at a time when the show was just returning to the air after a two-year hiatus, MacFarlane said. “We had two years' worth of story energy stored up,” he said, “and we were able to come up with something that's worthy of a longer form.”

MacFarlane doesn't wish for a similar luxury with “American Dad,” which debuted in February 2005 and revolves around the antics of an over-zealous CIA agent and his wacky family, which includes the German-speaking goldfish Klaus.

MacFarlane convinced writers Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman to find time in the coming months to pen a screenplay, even as they continue to work on the series. “I believe at some point soon we will commence production on the direct-to-DVD movie,” he said. “Mike and Matt are incredibly talented screenwriters — they wrote a screenplay a while back and I thought it was one of the finest things I ever read.”

American Dad Vol. One, which streets Tuesday, April 25, at $39.98, includes the first 13 episodes of the series in a lavish three-disc set. Like the various “Family Guy” DVD collections, the “American Dad” set will include plenty of episode commentaries, deleted scenes and other extras. Also included will be a bonus disc of “Family Guy” footage that has never before been available on DVD, including 23 deleted scenes from the series' fourth season.

“The great thing about DVD is that it allows you to utilize things that couldn't be done on TV,” MacFarlane said.

He notes that after each episode of “Family Guy” is put to bed, there's generally several minutes of extra footage, cut from the broadcast version either because of time constraints or TV standards and practices.

This axed footage is inserted back into the DVD version, “so what you get is sort of a director's cut, with deleted scenes,” MacFarlane said. “And now with ‘American Dad,' we're starting to do that too.”

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