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This week's cover: Inside the 'Simpsons'-'Family Guy' crossover

It’s happening. No, really. Crack open a cold one (Duff, Pawtucket, whichever you prefer), because Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin are finally going to hang out. The Sept. 28 season premiere of Family Guy will send the Griffins to Springfield for a hour of comedy power—and a chicken fight to remember between Peter and Homer. You may have come to EW.com in July when we premiered nearly five minutes of footage from the episode, and now you may be itching for more info about this massive mash-up and how it came to be.  Well, this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly will scratch(y) it.

The new cover features the one-time-only union of two legendary animated Fox comedies: The Simpsons and Family Guy. The two guys responsible for these bold characters—Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane—agreed to sit down and talk toons with each other (and EW) as part of a Q&A that touches on the crossover event, the shows’ rivalry with each other, the animated series that has caught their attention, and much more.

Wondering what the key to a good crossover episode is? MacFarlane will tell you: “It’s really about the character interaction. People want to see Peter interact with Homer. They want to see Bart interact with Stewie. In a way, the story in a crossover episode, while it has to be there, is never quite as important as how the characters interact with each other.” Curious as to what the folks at The Simpsons thought when they first watched Family Guy? Groening has this to say: “My first take was: Oh my god, we got competition. And they’re outflanking us. This show is wilder and harsher and nastier. We used to get in trouble. We used to be the cause of the downfall of the United States.” Want to know which character they’d like to steal from each other’s show? Sorry, you’ll have to read the piece for that one.

In addition to the interview with Groening and MacFarlane, Family Guy executive producer Richard Appel, who oversaw this fusion of franchises, explains how he was able to borrow Springfield’s finest for the hourlong episode. And Simpsons executive producer Al Jean tells us a little about that other crossover that his show will be involved with this fall: “Simpsorama,” in which Futurama‘s Planet Express crew time-travels to Springfield.

The only thing that would make this issue even better is if there were different covers for it. So here, we present not one, not two, and not four, but three new Family Guy/Simpsons covers. You’ve got Homer and Peter mmm’ing over some donuts, Bart and Stewie taking dead aim at your face, and Meg taking Lisa’s sax out for a spin. Pick up any one—or the entire pack—by clicking on the link below. Bye, everybody!

Bart-and-Stewie-EW-1328.jpg

Image Credit: Fox


 

Lisa-and-Meg-EW-1328.jpg

Image Credit: Fox

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 5.32.15 PM
For more on the Simpsons-Family Guy crossover episode, check out this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday. 

Seth MacFarlane will match donations in 'Reading Rainbow' Kickstarter

Yesterday, LeVar Burton announced in a video on the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter website that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has promised to match up to $1 million in donations made to the campaign during its final five days. MacFarlane’s donation will allow more underfunded classrooms to have access to the new Reading Rainbow web series free of charge.

The Associated Press reports that MacFarlane made the promise after hearing that the campaign needed to raise at least $5 million. The campaign has already raised over $4 million and has five days to reach its $5 million fundraising goal. According to the Kickstarter campaign site, if the $5 million fundraising goal is reached, the Reading Rainbow web series will be given to approximately 7,500 classrooms free of charge. MacFarlane’s added donation of $1 million would bring that number up to approximately 12,500.

The Kickstarter campaign ends on July 2 at 3 p.m. ET. MacFarlane’s offer will remain in effect until that time.

'Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff' mobile game puts the future of Quahog in your hands -- VIDEO

FAMILY-GUY-GAME.jpg

Family Guy has been canceled again!

Well, kind of. The Fox animated comedy has entered the mobile-game world with Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, available now in the Apple App and Google Play stores. After a mysterious new Fox president cancels the show, Peter, Lois, and all your favorite Quahog residents break into all out chaos when it’s revealed to be Ernie the Giant Chicken! A literal chicken fight leaves Quahog in ruins — which is where you come in! First, watch the all-new introduction video to the game voiced by the original cast: READ FULL STORY

'Family Guy': Guess who's back! (Hint: Exactly who you thought would be) -- VIDEO

Toldja so.

Three weeks ago, Family Guy shocked fans by killing off one of the show’s most-beloved figures: Brian Griffin, the erudite dog/liberal caricature who’s one of several characters voiced by series creator Seth MacFarlane. As it turns out, however, all that outrage was misplaced — because as of last night, Brian’s back. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good psych!

Here’s how it went down. During a routine holiday shopping trip, brilliant baby Stewie spotted something incredible in a toy store — his past self. This version of Stewie had traveled into the future before his time machine broke… and he also happened to have a time machine return pad in his backpack. (What’s a time machine return pad? Just go with it.)

Using the gadget, present-day Stewie went back in time — arriving seconds before Brian got fatally hit by a car. This time, though, the baby managed to push his pal out of the way just in the nick of time. And with that, current Stewie’s timeline was erased — leaving Brian alive, well, and in the perfect position for new present-day Stewie to hit him in the crotch with a hockey stick. (We are, after all, still talking about Family Guy here.)

It’s a turn of events that may have been totally predictable, but was also totally welcome for the show’s fans. These post-episode tweets from MacFarlane really say it best:

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New dog, old tricks in revamped 'Family Guy' intro -- VIDEO

Smooth-talking, erudite Brian Griffin is really and truly dead… at least, until Family Guy revives him somehow, likely during the show’s Dec. 15 installment. But in the meantime, the pup has gone to that big dog run in the sky — leaving a hole in our hearts, the Griffin family, and the series’ opening credits, which traditionally feature every member of the clan doing a snazzy song-and-dance number.

Enter Vinny, the family’s replacement pet — a street-smart hound voiced by Sopranos star Tony Sirico. You can’t hear Paulie Walnuts singing in the show’s revamped opening credits… but you can see him stepping in for Brian, wearing his very own gold tuxedo and everything.

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Broadcast TV gross-out: What's up with all the blood?

I should have heeded the very serious man’s warning ahead of the new episode of The Blacklist on Monday: “Graphic content” “viewer discretion” Blah Blah. NBD.

But, as it turns out, his warning was not just for the pearl-clutchers of the world. The episode was rather disgusting. In one scene, for example, Red dragged a rapidly bleeding Ressler to his FBI-issued glass safety cube so he could treat Ressler for his injuries after being shot. And among the procedures he had to carry out? A wound cauterization that involved gun powder, a lighter, and my horrified screams. Then there was that execution scene…

This, mind you, is coming from someone who loves The Walking Dead (the more zombie kills, the better), dug The Red Wedding, and has remains unfazed by the idea of organ-harvesting monsters thanks to Supernatural. I’m far from the sensitive type. Lately, though, I’ve found myself unexpectedly disgusted by some of the things on TV. “Unexpectedly” is a key and important word in that sentence. You see, I expect a high level of gore on cable shows, TV shows about dead bodies (Hi, Bones), or TV shows about monsters (like the aforementioned CW scare-fest or even Grimm). But out of that context, blood and gore catch me off guard.

I know: Get over it, Sandra. But I can’t be the only person who cringed when Olivia’s mom brunched on her own wrists in last week’s Scandal. Or the only one who thought Brian’s death on Family Guy involved more cartoon doggie blood than necessary to get the point across. If I am, I’m sorry for being a prude. But if I’m not, I invite you to join me in a dry heave — and a poll.
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'Family Guy': Celebrate the best of times with our favorite Brian/Stewie moments -- VIDEOS

[Spoilers ahead!]

Brian’s sudden passing on the latest episode of Family Guy also marks the death of one of the core relationships of the series: between the loyal, family dog and the youngest and most nefarious Griffin, Stewie. We’ll miss that dynamic, but to celebrate the “Life of Brian,” here are some of our favorite Brian and Stewie buddy moments:
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'Family Guy' react: They killed off who?! Talk about it here -- VIDEO

Warning: Major spoilers ahead! And we mean major. Family Guy‘s been on for 11 seasons and the Quahog crew’s been through their ups and downs. But if you don’t want to know which member of the family won’t be joining the Griffins for the holidays, stop reading now.
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No Halloween costume? Fox has you covered with 'New Girl,' 'Family Guy' masks

Halloween is just around the corner and if you’re among the slackers who haven’t gone out to buy a costume yet or just can’t figure out what to be, Fox is hoping you’ll dress up as one of the characters from their shows.

The cable company has just released a slew of printable cutout masks just in time for you to put together a last-minute costume.

In addition to printable masksof people like The X Factor‘s Simon Cowell and New Girl‘s Jess, Fox has also uploaded some fun stencils for pumpkin carving.

If you’re brave enough to try your hand at some fancy carving before tonight, you’ll find all you need to carve a likeness of Bart Simpson or Family Guy‘s Stewie on Fox.com.

Visit show pages for Almost Human, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, New Girl, The Simpsons, and The X Factor for more info on how to download printable masks and pumpkin carving stencils for Halloween!

Comic-Con 2013 schedule: See what's happening Saturday

Comic-Con is releasing its daily schedules over this long holiday weekend and the schedule for Saturday, July 20 has just come out. The day features panels on TV favorites like How I Met Your Mother (at the Con for the first time!), True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries as well as upcoming shows like Dracula and The Originals, and much more. Many of the major film panels are Saturday, including a look at the upcoming Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the Marvel panel, which will feature the Thor and Captain America sequels, and WB and Legendary’s panel featuring Godzilla, and Gravity.

You can see the full schedule here, but you can check out the TV and film highlights for Saturday below. San Diego Comic-Con runs July 17-21.

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