Fans of the hit Fox animated series "Family Guy" were pretty upset when animators killed off the family dog Brian Griffin
during its Nov. 24 episode, but producers brought the dog back to life on Sunday's episode.
Described as the "hard-drinking, literary-aspiring" sidekick to baby Stewie, Brian was pulled from the clutches of death thanks to a time machine.
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that plot twist might have simply been ploy to boost ratings.
"Many speculated that the campaign was successful as the listing for Sunday, Dec. 15th episode read: 'Stewie devises a master plan to get the one and only thing he wants for Christmas,'" Andrew Kirell wrote for Mediaite. "But since each episode takes roughly 10 months to create, it's more likely that the show had planned this all along as a clever ratings ploy for holiday season episodes of the show."
The Nov. 24 episode led to a Change.org petition asking the series to bring Brian back
, which 75,000 fans signed.
The show's creator Seth MacFarlane, who also does the voice of Brian, thanked fans for their support of the dog on Facebook.
Fans' reactions to the return were mixed.
When Brian died in November, executive producer Steve Callaghan told E! News
that the show was looking for a way to reinvigorate the series.
"Well, 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," Callaghan said. "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."
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