Seth MacFarlane got his start in the 1990s, working as a writer for several television shows, including the "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" cartoon series. He gained some fame on his work in "Dexter's Laboratory," "Cow and Chicken," and "Johnny Bravo." The writer, actor, and director recently delighted some fans when he hosted the 2013 Academy Awards; however, he has even more in store for them.
Many people think about the hit show "Family Guy" when they think about MacFarlane, but the show wasn't always a hit. Premiering in 1999, the show was run by FOX for three seasons before canceling it due to low ratings. After seeing the high DVD sales of each season, FOX renewed the show, and MacFarlane quickly dominated the station with other animated shows.
First up was "American Dad," which started as a short film that introduced Stan Smith and his family. He turned that short movie into a television sitcom for the channel, and while it draws some comparisons to "Family Guy," fans still tuned in on Sunday nights. He also introduced the world to Cleveland Brown, one of the characters in "Family Guy," giving the character his own show and a new family.
MacFarlane remained busy over the past few years. His film "Ted," which opened in 2012, became the top comedy film of the year. Not only did the film gain a number of positive reviews, but "Ted" also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song, which MacFarlane wrote. The film stars Mark Wahlberg as a man who receives a teddy bear as a gift. The bear, which he names Ted, comes to life after he makes a wish. The film follows the two as Mark's character attempts to grow up and have a loving and stable relationship even though he still clings to his childhood.
The talented MacFarlane followed that film up by hosting the Academy Awards. Though he received mixed reviews for his performance, fans found him a successful host. MacFarlane, who admits to loving "Star Trek," brought William Shatner onto the show to do a sci-fi spoof. Poking fun at the idea of some reviewers' automatically assuming he would tank on the show, he let Shatner talk about all the bad things he might do and help him create a good show. Some of his best jokes came at the expense of others in the audience, including Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence.
Next up for MacFarlane is "Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey." The documentary series will air sometime in 2014 on National Geographic and FOX. MacFarlane served as executive producer of the series with Ann Druyan, the widow of Carl Sagan, the man who developed "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," which this series follows. Original reports indicated that the show would air in 2013, but MacFarlane posted on his Twitter account that it would air sometime next year.
MacFarlane will also write, direct, and act in the film "A Million Ways to Die in the West." The script tells the story of a man who decides that he needs help winning back his wife, and he gets that help from the adventurous wife of a gunslinger. Though the film is still in pre-production, there are some top stars already attached to it. Amanda Seyfried ("Mama Mia!) and Charlize Theron ("Monster") both signed deals to star in the film.
The film will also star MacFarlane as Albert and Giovanni Ribisi ("Gone in Sixty Seconds") as Edward. Early reports have Liam Neeson ("Taken") attached to the film. MacFarlane worked on the screenplay with writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. Both writers previously worked with MacFarlane on "Family Guy," and both also provided voice work for the show.
MacFarlane also announced that he recently started working on the script for "Ted 2." The original film was the surprise hit of the year. Filmed on a budget of $50 million, "Ted" made $54 million in its opening weekend. It eventually grossed more than $200 million in the United States and earned millions more in foreign theaters. The film spawned a variety of tie-in products, including a teddy bear that looks just like Ted.
Though little is known about the sequel, MacFarlane will reprise his role as Ted and write the screenplay. Wahlberg agreed to reprise his role as John Bennett, the man stuck between adulthood and childhood. Mila Kunis, who portrayed Bennett's girlfriend and love interest in the film, has yet to announce if she will return. Given that the actress plays Meg on "Family Guy" and occasionally does work on other MacFarlane shows, it seems likely that she will return. No matter what happens, MacFarlane wants his fans to know that he plans to keep making them laugh for years.