According to Live Feed, August 6:
The controversial Family Guy abortion episode that Fox has declined to air next season features matriarch Lois Griffin acting as a surrogate mother for an infertile couple. The couple is then killed in a car crash, leaving Lois with a tough decision.
The episode (titled “Partial Terms of Endearment”) is “very graphic, very morbid,” sources say, particularly about the abortion process….
(This is what pro-aborts were afraid of… that the episode would be unfriendly. Sound like something to be publicized when this comes out on dvd.)
The episode was originally supposed to conclude on a vague note, with Lois’ verdict left unclear. But creator Seth MacFarlane added a coda at the very end, with Lois’ husband Peter poking his head into the frame to tell viewers, “She had the abortion.”
At Fox’s press day in Pasadena, entertainment president Kevin Reilly said the decision not to air the episode was driven by potential advertiser concerns.
“We don’t censor Seth,” he said. “It was a business decision. It was fragile subject matter at a sensitive time.“
Asked what specifically about the episode was problematic, Reilly said there were a couple scenes in the episode that Fox suggested doing one way and MacFarlane opted for another.
“At that moment in time, there was a tough conversation gong on with clients, and we didn’t need the headache,” he said.
At press tour, MacFarlane and the cast of upcoming Family Guy spinoff series Cleveland Show did a table read of an episode….
After the table read, MacFarlane (who, truth be told, has a very agreeable relationship with the network) said that Reilly’s decision was fine with him.
“I’m in a position with Fox where I’m having sort of a golden age,” he said, “I trust [Reilly’s] decision implicitly.”
Another “table read” is planned at an event next week wooing Emmy votes. Family Guy is up for best comedy. This should secure the win. According to Variety:
Twentieth Century Fox TV… [has] given Family Guy the greenlight to do a live table reading next week of the show’s infamous “abortion episode.”…
The table read is part of an event next Wednesday at Hollywood’s Ricardo Montalban Theater targeted toward Emmy voters, in light of the show’s recent nomination in the best comedy category (the first for an animated show since 1961).
Despite the controversy surrounding the episode, MacFarlane said the show is fairly tame compared to some segs that have gotten on the air.
“The subject matter makes it sound like the raciest thing we’ve ever done, but it’s a balanced episode,” he said….
“The whole last act of the show is one long debate by the family over the issue,” MacFarlane said.