A key character on FOX's "Family Guy" was recently killed off and fans have launched a petition in protest.
Brian, the Griffin family's dog, was hit by a car on the show and later died of his wounds on an episode that aired on Sunday, Nov. 24. Its title -- "Life of Brian," a tribute to the 1979 cult Bible-themed Monty Python film. The family members then went and got a new dog, Vinnie, portrayed by Tony Sirico of "The Sopranos" fame. The shocking death spurred #BringBrianBack to trend on Twitter.
A Change.org petition titled "," has since been launched and more than 1,500 people have signed it as of Monday, Nov. 25. The page accompanies a new Facebook page, "R.I.P Brian Griffin from Family Guy," which has more than 90,000 "likes."
So why kill off Brian, who's appeared on the show since its 1999 debut? "Family Guy" Executive Producer told E! Online that the writers the death "could be a fun way to shake things up" and that they also needed to replace the family pet because "it felt like a void needed to be filled both comically and also for the interpersonal relationships between all the characters."
Vinny, he said, is a "really good match" for baby Stewie because he doesn't allow the character to "get away with any crap."
Show creator Seth MacFarlane, who also provided the voice of Brian, as well as of Stewie and dad Peter, has not commented.
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