MacFarlane Deal Stalls Family Guy

Contract negotiations with Family Guy creator and exec producer Seth MacFarlane have delayed the start of production on the sixth season of Fox’s animated primetime series, according to Daily Variety. The crew was set to begin working on the new episodes on Monday but have been instructed not to show up just yet.

Though the process of striking a new deal has been moving slowly over the past year, both 20th Century Fox and MacFarlane’s people say the talks are still friendly. MacFarlane’s current contract will expire in several months and, with the success of Family Guy and American Dad, he’s is in a good spot to demand more money, obviously more than Fox is comfortable shelling out at this point. However, there’s no show without Macfarlane, who not only exec produces both animated hits, but also supplies key voices.

Fox and MacFarlane need to reach an agreement soon if episodes are going to be ready to air during the 2007-2008 season. In addition to Family Guy and American Dad, MacFarlane is overseeing the upcoming live-action Fox comedy The Winner along with Ricky Blitt.