Sunday night (May 18) marks the end of an era. It might not play that way, but it is.
“American Dad” ends its ninth season on FOX with a finale that finds Hayley (Rachael MacFarlane) learning that her long-lost love Jeff (Jeff Fischer) is still alive in space and trying to make his way home. It will be the show’s swan song on FOX, as it’s moving to TBS in late 2014.
The move, coupled with the 2014-15 schedule FOX announced earlier in the week, will bring an end to the network’s Sunday-night “Animation Domination” block. Starting in the fall two live-action shows — “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and new comedy “Mulaney” — will join “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy” and “Bob’s Burgers” on the night.
That will still be three more animated shows in primetime than on any other network, but the days of all animation, all the time are coming to an end. The last live-action comedies to air on FOX Sunday nights came in the 2009-10 season — the not exactly potent combination of “Brothers,” “Sons of Tucson” and the final, limping season of “‘Til Death.”
FOX is certainly hoping for something more like what “Malcolm in the Middle” did on Sundays than what any of those shows did. That will shake out in the fall; on Sunday, as you tune into “American Dad,” also say goodbye to the Animation Domination era.