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"Family Guy" Kills Brian the Dog

Fox(NEW YORK) -- Killing off a beloved character on a TV show isn't new, but it's most always shocking -- and animated characters are no exception.  On this week's episode of Family Guy, viewers were shocked when family dog Brian died.

Brian was hit by a car on the Fox animated series while playing street hockey with baby Stewie. The Griffin family surrounded Brian while he said his final words: "You’ve given me a wonderful life. I love you all.” He then passed away. In the episode, it only took the Griffins one month to get a new dog, Vinny, voiced by The Sopranos star Tony Sirico.

Many fans and longtime Family Guy viewers cried foul, especially with the swift replacement of Brian. Still, executive producer Steve Callaghan defended Family Guy writers, telling E! News, "It seemed more in the realm of reality that a dog would get hit by a car, than 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.”

Seth McFarlane, who voices Brian the dog, will of course remains with the series: he not only created Family Guy, but also voices Peter Griffin and Stewie.

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