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Animation on Fox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The American TV network Fox Broadcasting Company has aired numerous animated television series. During the more than thirty-year existence of the network, there have been many successful prime time animated series. The first and most famous of these, The Simpsons, was the first such series since the end of The Flintstones in the 1960s.



When the upstart young Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) was formed in 1986 by Rupert Murdoch, early shows tended to attract low viewership, with the exception of some early ratings successes such as Married... with Children and 21 Jump Street. The animation industry had experienced a decline in the 1980s.

In 1987, The Tracey Ullman Show premiered with mild success. During this time, a series of short cartoons originally intended to be bumpers gained a following with young and old audiences, and Fox ordered thirteen episodes of a new animated television series based on these, titled The Simpsons. When The Simpsons premiered in December 1989, the series was instantly popular. Merchandise featuring the show’s breakout character Bart Simpson has accumulated over US$1 billion in sales. The Simpsons was the first successful primetime animated series since The Flintstones, paving the way for other animated series on major broadcast networks. Since its debut, a total of 685 episodes of The Simpsons have aired, and the series is currently airing its 31st season.


In September 1992, Batman: The Animated Series made its debut, and from December 1992 to March 1993, it aired in primetime while also airing on Fox Kids for several more years.

Also in September 1992, Eek! The Cat premiered on Fox Kids. In 1994, it was renamed to Eek! Stavaganza. Eek! ended in 1997. The only episode of the series to air in primetime was a Christmas special in 1993.[1]

A few Tiny Toon Adventures specials were also aired in primetime during that show's run on Fox Kids.[1]

In 1994, X-Men: The Animated Series had a brief primetime run as the first two episodes of season 3 aired in primetime on Friday nights in July and August 1994 for two consecutive weeks.[2] The last episode of season 3 (along with an episode of Spider-Man) would premiere in primetime in June 1995.[3]

Also, in 1994, The Tick, an animated superhero/satirical Children's show based on the comic of the same name aired on Fox Kids. A repeat of the show's Christmas episode aired in primetime in 1996.

A boom in new adult-oriented animated programming began thereafter, with MTV’s Beavis and Butt-head beginning in 1992, and Simpsons producers Al Jean's and Mike Reiss’ own series, The Critic, in 1994. The Critic ran for one season (13 episodes) on its original network, ABC (in 1994); from there, it moved to FOX, where it ran for another season of 10 episodes (1995). The Critic can be described as a minor success, with DVD sales and late-night showings on cable networks (such as Comedy Central) making it a cult hit. It received critical acclaim, being the only television series to ever be reviewed on Siskel and Ebert, in which it received "Two Thumbs Up".

Two episodes of Life with Louie aired in primetime[4][5] before it debuted on Fox Kids. It was created by Louie Anderson.[6] It ended in 1998.

Mike Judge left Beavis and Butt-head in the mid-1990s to begin a new project with Simpsons writer Greg Daniels. King of the Hill premiered in January 1997, and was a huge success for the network. In August 1997, Trey Parker and Matt Stone's South Park debuted on the cable network Comedy Central, and with its subversive humor and numerous obscenities, it became controversial in a way similar to The Simpsons seven years earlier. Ironically, Parker and Stone originally developed South Park for FOX, which declined to pick up the show due to the inclusion of a talking stool character (Mr. Hankey) being over the top for the network.[7]


Created by comedian Eddie Murphy, the series The PJs debuted in January 1999. The show was a minor success similar to The Critic, but the show’s high budget caused it to be moved to The WB in 2001, where it lasted one season.

Seth MacFarlane's animated series Family Guy premiered after Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999. The show was canceled in 2000, but fan petitions convinced Fox to renew it for a third season. After its third season ended in 2002, the network canceled the series again and reruns soon began airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

Ratings for the series increased soon after, and DVD sales increased. Family Guy was revived and began airing again on Fox on May 1, 2005. Family Guy has remained a large success for the network. MacFarlane's follow-up series, American Dad!, began airing on February 6, 2005, and despite low ratings, the series was renewed for multiple seasons on the network before being transferred to TBS in 2014.

Futurama, the follow-up series from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, began in late March 1999, and was later canceled (with its last episode aired on August 10, 2003) thanks to scheduling changes (the same fate met previously by Family Guy during its original run). In a similar move to Family Guy, high DVD sales and ratings led to four separate DVD movies released from 2007 to 2009, all later broadcast on Comedy Central. Futurama was brought back in 2009 to Comedy Central, with new episodes airing from 2010 to 2013.

Fox canceled King of the Hill in late 2009. Meanwhile, The Cleveland Show, another endeavor from Seth MacFarlane, premiered on the network in fall 2009. It stars Family Guy character Cleveland Brown.

Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz and former Simpsons executive producer Josh Weinstein developed an American version of Sit Down, Shut Up, which premiered in April 2009.


On January 9, 2011, Bob's Burgers premiered. It is now on its tenth season.

Later, Allen Gregory, Napoleon Dynamite, Axe Cop, High School USA!, Lucas Bros. Moving Co., Golan the Insatiable, and Bordertown were all canceled after one season during the 2010s.

On October 8, 2013, Fox removed the unaired series Murder Police without airing a single episode and canceled The Cleveland Show. In 2014, Fox canceled American Dad! (which led moving to TBS) and removed Animation Domination. They brought it back in September 2019 when Bless the Harts debuted, which was renewed for a second season in October 2019.


Duncanville debuted on February 16, 2020.


Fox cartoon series have been the subject of controversy; most notably, The Simpsons, American Dad! and Family Guy, for their approach to comedy and for the coarse language and jokes that some[who?] have said are too raunchy for network TV. These shows have been some of the most risqué material aired on FOX. Fox has also been accused by some groups of corrupting children with cartoons ostensibly for teens and adults. In Venezuela, The Simpsons and Family Guy have been taken off the air due to their content. In Russia, Family Guy and The Simpsons were subject to lawsuits regarding their content, although in Russia other animated series like South Park were more controversial.

List of cartoon series



See also


  1. ^ a b "TV Listings for - December 5, 1993 - TV Tango". Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  2. ^ "TV Listings for - July 29, 1994 - TV Tango". Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  3. ^ "TV Listings for - June 11, 1995 - TV Tango". Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  4. ^ "TV Listings for - December 18, 1994 - TV Tango". TV Tango. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  5. ^ "TV Listings for - June 18, 1995 - TV Tango". TV Tango. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  6. ^ Comedian Louie Anderson Archived 2009-12-26 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2-21-09.
  7. ^ "Fox Refused to Take 'South Park' in 1997 Because of One Character, and Something Else as well". Glamour Fame. September 18, 2019. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  8. ^ Lowry, Brian (25 November 1992). "Fox putting 'Batman' in Sunday slot". Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  9. ^ Lowry, Brian (15 January 1993). "Article mentioning that Batman airs in primetime". Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  10. ^ "First X-Men Primetime episode". Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  11. ^ "Second X-Men Primetime episode". Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  12. ^ "Third X-Men Primetime episode". Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  13. ^ "Article about X-Men in primetime in 1995". Retrieved 2009-08-03.[dead link]
  14. ^ Molyneux, Wendy. "We were able to show a rough-draty- animatic work in progress scene from @GreatNorthFOX last night". @WendyMolyneux. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
This page was last edited on 29 September 2020, at 15:49
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