Microsoft pulls out of Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane’s upcoming Fox special

Apple Store“Microsoft has yanked its sponsorship from Fox’s upcoming Seth MacFarlane comedy/variety special over content concerns,” Michael Schneider reports for Variety.

MacDailyNews Take: “We’ll never really sponsor it. We’ll just jerk around MacFarlane et al. and ride the free publicity for the 7ista rollout, then take even more free pub when we pull out.” (laughs)

Schneider continues, “Fox still plans to air ‘Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show’ on Nov. 8, but with another, yet-to-be-named, sponsor.”

MacDailyNews Take: Note to Apple, you know what to do (or at least you should).

Schneider continues, “‘Almost Live Comedy Show’ was announced earlier this month as part of a major marketing partnership Microsoft had sealed with a wide range of News Corp. properties to promote the launch of the computer giant’s Windows 7 operating system… But that was before Microsoft execs attended the special’s taping Oct. 16. The program included MacFarlane and Alex Borstein — the voice of ‘Family Guy’ matriarch Lois — pitching Windows 7.”

“For most of the special, however, MacFarlane and Borstein made typical “Family Guy”-style jokes, including riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest,” Schneider reports. “Such material was apparently a bit much for Microsoft.”

MacDailyNews Take: The whole thing was cynically planned out ahead of time and, if not, Microsoft is even more inept than even we think.

Schneider continues, “‘We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of ‘Family Guy,’ but after reviewing an early version of the variety show, it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand,’ said a Microsoft spokeswoman.

MacDailyNews Take: Why not? Microsoft’s 7ista is a joke on everyone with a PC.

Schneider continues, “Microsoft sent MacFarlane and Fox several notes expressing their concern over the show’s content but ultimately decided just to drop out. MacFarlane and Borstein pitched Windows 7 live in front of the studio audience in the middle of taping ‘Almost Live Comedy Show.’ It’s unclear how the show will be edited and whether the duo will have to shoot new scenes with the replacement sponsor.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, Apple should swoop in and then MacFarlane and Borstein can pitch what they actually use: Apple Macs running Mac OS X.

Schneider continues in the full article here.


  1. Family Guy is a pretty edgy program — I don’t think it’s a fit for any mass-market product like Windows or Apple. If Apple would jump in as a sponsor on the heels of MS, it would scream of “me too” syndrome which is a poor marketing message, not to mention the “family values” types who would be up in arms with any company that associates themselves with such provocative fare.

    That said, it will probably be a funny show. ; D

  2. Family Guy is not PC enough for PCs.

    MS never learns. They pay top dollar for consulting firms BS to get suckered. They proudly payed a million dollars to told brown would be a good color for Zune, that went well. How much did they pay for bad commercials until putting a Apple store in their ad worked.

  3. “…riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest,….”

    It sounds like something a Iranian president would deny. Not for Apple, but I hope they diss the heck out of M$. (I’m old, is diss spelled correctly?)

  4. I’m don’t believe Apple should step in here. I can see headlines howling about how inappropriate the the material is. And Steve might suffer some nasty cuts, as well.
    I do think this episode shows how anxious MS is to appear more desirable to the “hip” crowd. . . . I think they may actually want to be considered “cool.”

  5. lol. “something something something Dark Side.” “something something something complete.” I love how MacFarlane shows his love for Star Wars but can still make fun of Lucas’ clunky writing.

    Agreed, though, about Apple NOT jumping on this bandwagon. It’d be quite out of character, for one, and would not be in keeping with the majority of its target market.

  6. After the bizarre Gates/Seinfeld ads, the failed Windows 7 launch parties, and now this very public about-face, it seems pretty clear to me that Microsoft hasn’t the faintest idea of how to market Windows to anyone.

    MacDailyNews Take: The whole thing was cynically planned out ahead of time and, if not, Microsoft is even more inept than even we think.

    In this case, considering the track record of their marketing department thus far, I’d have to go with the latter.

  7. Great Microsloth! You sponsor a show – but really dont know what kind of show it is! Good Lord! Family Guy works, because it says the things, people only think – that’s why it was cancelled, then miraculously brought back. It laughs at ‘political correctness’ because PC people usually ‘act nice’, but you still wont be coming over for dinner, or dating their daughter. FG is kinda like this forum, all is dandy online, but if we all ever met in person, the sexist, racist, homophobic, religious persecutors may reconsider their friendships ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> The Family Guy is actually very mild compared to South Park because SP actually hits on real topics in an intelligent (satirical) manner. SP frightens so many people, that they refuse to watch that ‘horrid cartoon’, it might cause them to have to think.

  8. @AppleJack

    For the last couple of months, M$ has been doing this “We are cool” astroturf campaign.

    They had an bought and paid for article in Fortune magazine saying “Microsoft is cool again” with a picture of Windows7 written in graffiti that was “Commissioned” by M$. Read any M$ fluff piece written in the last couple of months and I bet it says something about “Cool”.

    I will give M$ credit for getting a little smarter/more subtle with their astroturfing.

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