The family was conceived by MacFarlane after developing two animated films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. MacFarlane redesigned the films' protagonist, Larry, and his dog, Steve, and renamed them Peter and Brian, respectively. MacFarlane pitched a seven-minute pilot to Fox in 1998, and the show was greenlit and began production. Shortly after the third season of Family Guy had aired in 2002, Fox canceled the series with one episode left unaired. Adult Swim aired that episode in 2003, finishing the series' original run. However, favorable DVD sales and high ratings for syndicated reruns on Adult Swim convinced the network to renew the show in 2004 for a fourth season, which began airing on May 1, 2005.
The show revolves around the adventures of the Griffin family, consisting of father Peter Griffin, a bumbling and clumsy yet well-intentioned blue-collar worker; Lois, a pretty stay-at-home mother and piano teacher who is a member of the wealthy Pewterschmidt family; Meg, their often-bullied teenage daughter who is also constantly ridiculed or ignored by the family; Chris, their awkward teenage son, who is overweight, unintelligent and, in many respects, is simply a younger version of his father; and Stewie, their diabolical infant son of ambiguous sexual orientation who has adult mannerisms and uses stereotypical archvillain phrases. Living with the family is their witty, smoking, martini-swilling, sarcastic, English-speaking anthropomorphic dog Brian, though he is still considered a pet in many ways.