Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy doesn't exactly come to mind when thinking about TV's heartfelt dramas but Sunday's (November 24th) episode took a sad turn when writers killed off the Griffin family dog, Brian -- voiced by MacFarlane. E! News sat down with executive producer Steve Callaghan to get to the bottom of the decision to kill off a character who had appeared in every episode of the animated series since the pilot.
Steve explained, "This was an idea that got pitched in the writers room and it sort of caught fire, and we thought it could be a fun way to shake things up. As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters. It seemed more in the realm of a reality that a dog would get hit by a car, then if one of the kids died. As much as we love Brian, and as much as everyone loves their pets, we felt it would be more traumatic to lose one of the kids, rather than the family pet." When asked if he is worried about fan backlash from the twist, Callaghan responded, "Our fans are smart enough and have been loyal to our show for long enough, to know that they can trust us. We always make choices that always work to the greatest benefit of the series."
The Griffin family wasted no time in replacing Brian with a new dog named Vinny -- voiced by The Sopranos actor Tony Sirico.
Fans of the show have already started a petition to bring Brian back.
Stevie Nicks will make a cameo appearance on FX's American Horror Story: Coven. The series, which has referenced Nicks and utilized backing tracks of her music, has confirmed that she will appear. Nicks is reportedly a fan of the show and renowned for her romanticizing witches in such Fleetwood Mac classics as "Rhiannon" and "Sara," among others. There's still no word as to what Nicks' role will be or when she'll begin shooting her scenes.
Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has revealed in a new interview with Rock Cellar that he tried to listen to the recently released Sabbath reunion album, 13, but had to stop after just a few minutes. Ward said, "The only thing I’ve heard from 13 is maybe 40 seconds of the first song, and then I turned it off. I haven’t heard anything off that album at all. And to be quite honest, I don’t care to either. It’s too painful. If I want to rip my guts out, I’ll put it on.”
Ward, the group's founding drummer, has played on and off with Sabbath over the years and had initially signed on for the original lineup's first album in 35 years and accompanying tour, announced in late 2011.
But he quit shortly before the writing and recording of the disc began, saying he was dissatisfied with the terms of the contract he had been offered.
Although he never specified what his issues were, the other members of Sabbath later hinted that Ward was not physically up to the task of performing live.
It was rumored that Sabbath wanted to bring a second drummer on the road to share duties with Ward, which he allegedly balked at.
Sabbath used Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk for the recording of 13, while Tommy Clufetos has been the live drummer.
Ward added that he remains "deeply touched" by the outpouring of support that many fans have shown him, saying, "It tears me up, you know. Even as I’m talking to you now, I’m not far away from a tear. I had to follow my heart under the most difficult circumstances.”
Sabbath has been touring for much of the past year behind 13 and has dates lined up in Europe for this month and December.
DID YOU KNOW? Bill Ward recently underwent surgery for perforated diverticulitis, a very serious gastrointestinal condition in which the walls of the intestine have become perforated. According to Blabbermouth, his operation was said to be successful, and he was expected to make a full recovery. Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, who was diagnosed with cancer last year. wrote online, "Dear Bill, sorry to hear you've been unwell. Hope you make a speedy recovery. Best wishes, Tony."
Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley took time out to counter some of Gene Simmons' recent remarks against him and Peter Criss. Blabbermouth reported that during an appearance on New York City's Q104.3, Frehley touched upon Kiss' probable entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, and Simmons' recent inference that Frehley and Criss would not be performing with Kiss if they get the nod. Frehley said: "I'm happy that I'm gonna be inducted -- most likely -- next year, in April, in New York City, and it should be be a great event. There's no way Gene can put a lid on it. I mean, what's he gonna do?"
Frehley, who's clearly stung by Simmons seemingly constant attacks on his "blown opportunities" with Kiss and his substance abuse problems went on to take a few knocks of his won against the Kiss bassist, saying, "Gene's living in the past. He's become a caricature of himself. I mean, from the very beginning, his only motivation was money. The guy has no friends; he's not respected by his peers; he's pissed off thousands of fans; he's never had a hit single, like I've had. I had the most successful Gibson signature-series guitar in history. He didn't. It goes on and on. He took the safe route: he never got loaded, he never partied. I took the same route Elvis Presley took and (Jimi) Hendrix and Keith Richards and Jim Morrison. . . it's endless. I have all this life experience and thank God I can live to talk about it. What's he gonna talk about? All he can do is badmouth other people."
Guitar aficionados are in for a real treat with the new deluxe book, 108 Rock Star Guitars. The 396-page art book by photographer and author Lisa S. Johnson features incredibly high quality and artistic shots of some of rock's most legendary axes, revealing, "the intimate details, the wear and tear, nicks, scratches, sweat stains, burn marks and personal adornments" that most fans have never been close enough to spot.
Late, great guitar pioneer Les Paul provided the book's Forword and Johnson offers up first hand details of her quest in shooting each guitar for the book -- which features instruments by such notables as Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Bruce Springsteen, Rick Nielsen, Slash, Robby Krieger, Ace Frehley, Nancy Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Jack White, Zakk Wylde, Billy Gibbons, Tom Morello, Joe Walsh, and many more.