'Family Guy' Moves From BBC to ITV in U.K.
The BBC has aired Seth MacFarlane's comedy since 1999.
In an announcement on Monday, ITV revealed that it would be broadcasting the upcoming 15th season of Seth MacFarlane's comedy this fall as part of a multiyear deal with 20th Century Fox that also includes American Dad, The Cleveland Show and freshman series Bordertown.
The new season of Family Guy will have its U.K. premiere exclusively on ITV2, the broadcaster's youth network. It had previously been aired on the BBC's youth channel BBC3, which is set to move online later this year as part of cutbacks.
ITV's capturing of the major ratings draw supports fears that BBC3's nonlinear future and cuts in its programming budget would affect its ability to compete for big-name buy-ins. Following speculation in February that Family Guy would be moving to ITV, the BBC previously said the show would remain with the broadcaster until 2017.
"When a show becomes so successful it often becomes a target for other broadcasters," said the BBC in a statement. "We are sorry that [Family Guy] will not have a long term home on the BBC." It added that with 13 library series under license, the show would be available on the BBC for at least two years.
"Family Guy is one of our most important, iconic series, and we are very excited about this new collaboration," said Marion Edwards, 20th Century Fox Television Distribution's president of international TV of the ITV deal. "We are confident that this extraordinary series will not only bring its loyal fan base to ITV, but will also be embraced by an entirely new set of fans."