What makes the death of a character on an animated show so shocking? Characters die all the time on other shows. Mr. Hooper even died on "Sesame Street." But it's weird on a show where no one ever grows up or ages to remind us that death exists.
Maybe that means it was a good idea for "Family Guy" to kill off Brian Griffin, the beloved talking dog, apparently permanently. It's certainly reminded everyone that "Family Guy" exists, at least, which after 11 seasons is important. "Well, [killing Brian] 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," showrunner Steve Callaghan told E! Online. "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."
Brian was immediately replaced by a new dog named Vinny, a wise guy voiced by "Sopranos" actor Tony Sirico. Why Sirico? Apparently it was Seth Green's idea. "I think it was Seth's idea actually to get Tony to come in. He's a big fan of 'The Sopranos' and always loved Tony Sirico in particular, and he thought it would be fun to write a character based around his voice and his personality and just who he is as an actor."
Sorry, dude who played Brian. You should have been on HBO.