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'Family Guy' fans protest death of Brian the dog

Seth MacFarlaneThe Simpsons (tv program)Katie CouricHomeland (tv program)A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (tv program)Tony SiricoMarcia Wallace

Forget "The Walking Dead," "Homeland" or all the rest of the usual Sunday-night-TV sources of Monday buzz. The real shocker came from an unexpected place: Fox's long-running animated hit "Family Guy."

The development? After 11 1/2 seasons serving as the Griffin family's faithful companion, Brian the dog went to the big doggie park in the sky.

Brian, who has served as the most levelheaded member of the family since the very beginning, was struck and killed by a car in "Life of Brian," the sixth episode of Season 12

Struggling to deal with the loss, the Griffins picked up a new dog who talks a good game, voiced by guest star Tony Sirico of "The Sopranos" fame.

But a guest star can't compete with Brian, who was voiced by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane -- and so the question is whether fans will get to see their beloved dog again.

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Some fans aren't willing to sit idly by while MacFarlane and the "Family Guy" crew toy with their emotions. A petition on Change.org, launched early Monday by Alabama-based fan Aaron Thompson, asks MacFarlane and Fox to bring Brian back and has already amassed over 1,600 signatures.

The petition reads, in part, "Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experince. He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show. Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show."

One Texas-based fan wrote, "Brian Griffin was America's funniest and most loyal dog. He was Stewie's BEST FRIEND. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD HE WAS WHAT MADE THE GRIFFIN FAMILY WHOLE."

It's hard for all of us, apparently.

As it turns out, death isn't a stranger to animated series this year. Earlier this year, producers of "The Simpsons" promised that one of the characters on the show would die. And although the real-life death of actress Marcia Wallace meant the retirement of the Mrs. Krabappel character, they still haven't revealed which character would die. Years ago, "The Simpsons" killed Maude Flanders, though she has made return appearances as a ghost.

So will we be seeing Brian again? Considering that the new dog came in the form of a high-priced, well-known guest star, it's entirely possible that Brian will come back in some form. This is "Family Guy" after all.

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Seth MacFarlaneThe Simpsons (tv program)Katie CouricHomeland (tv program)A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (tv program)Tony SiricoMarcia Wallace
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