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“Family Guy” gains Emmy breakthrough where “The Simpsons” failed


When Emmy nominations came in on Thursday, one of the biggest headline-grabbing surprises was the best comedy series nod for Fox cartoon “Family Guy.” The show from bad boy TV darling Seth MacFarlane leapfrogged the long-running, critically acclaimed “The Simpsons”  to become the first animated program nominated for a primetime comedy Emmy since “The Flintstones” in 1961.


How did “Family Guy” succeed where “The Simpsons” failed?

Since first appearing on television in 1989, “The Simpsons” managed to land cartoon dad Homer Simpson’s buzzword “d’oh!”  into the Oxford English Dictionary, created a multi-billion dollar merchandising empire, inspired critics to call Homer, wife Marge and children Bart, Lisa and Maggie America’s first family of TV and spawned a raft of other primetime animated series, including ”Family Guy.”

Time magazine has said, “‘The Simpsons’ triumph is so absolute and its reach so total that it’s hard to realize that there was a time when its dense, rapid-fire allusions weren’t the lingua franca of comedy, when irreverence wasn’t the default mode of popular culture.”