Friday, August 23, 2013

At Fox Animation

I spent a stretch of my morning at Fox Animation on Wilshire, where the American Dad and Family Guy crews are pleased that both shows have new seasons stretching out ahead of them. (As you probably know, American Dad, despite solid ratings, exits Fox and moves to TBS for its next season.)

The new round of AD episodes will number fifteen, not the usual 22. Crew members are a tad, downhearted about the lower number, but happy that a new season is happening. And of course there's the question of how Seth MacFarlane will be able to give his complete attention to everything, because ...

... Mr. MacFarlane is stretched thinner than ever.

Fox has declined an Asian-American group's request to reshoot the pilot for the upcoming Seth MacFarlane fall comedy, "Dads," despite brewing backlash over what many critics have called insensitive and even racist jokes.

The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) had asked the network to alter scenes featuring Brenda Song's character dressing up in a sexy schoolgirl costume to please Chinese businessmen during a meeting with her bosses (Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green). They objected to the "racial and sexual stereotypes."

Judging from the promo, the jokes are on-par with Seth's cartoon series, but maybe Dads seems a little more "out there" because the jokes come from live-action actors' mouths.

But if we're talking live-action, there's also the upcoming big-screen presentation, A Million Ways to Die in the West:

... "Everybody's laughing all the time," [Amanda Seyfried] said. "It's like nobody cares about the fact that they've been shooting a 14-hour day. Every line is hilarious."

Seyfried, who plays Albert's ex-girlfriend, praised MacFarlane's ability to handle his duties as both director and lead actor. "It's amazing, he looks like a movie star," she said. "He's very focused on what he needs to do and he watches the takes, but then all of a sudden he's next to you in the scene, and you're like, uh, are you watching what I'm doing, or...? And then he yells cut when he's in the scene." ...

So how are all the different hats Seth juggles (wears?) in the growing empire going to spin out? No idea. But the folks working in the animated division of MacFarlane, Inc. are pleased to have jobs for the next year.


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