- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 23, 2006

DVD dividends

Scorching DVD sales not only resurrected Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” sitcom, it sparked the creation of the direct-to-video film “Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin — The Untold Story.”

Now, the animator is hoping the format will give a similar boost to his second series, “American Dad,” and spark its own DVD film spinoff, the Reuters news agency reports.

“It’s already been talked about very seriously,” Mr. MacFarlane told Reuters. “The only reason it hasn’t gotten under way yet is time, building time into the schedule that doesn’t distract from the show.”

The “Family Guy” movie was made at a time when the show was just returning to the air after a two-year-hiatus, he said. “We had two years’ worth of story energy stored up,” he said, “and we were able to come up with something that’s worthy of a longer form.”

Mr. MacFarlane doesn’t wish for a similar luxury with “Dad,” the racy animated series that debuted in February 2005 and revolves around the antics of an overzealous CIA agent and his wacky family, which includes a German-speaking goldfish named Klaus.

Mr. MacFarlane is convinced that writers Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman will find time in the coming months to pen a screenplay even as they continue to work on the series. “I believe at some point soon we will commence production on the direct-to-DVD movie,” he said. “Mike and Matt are incredibly talented screenwriters — they wrote a screenplay awhile back, and I thought it was one of the finest things I ever read.”

“American Dad Volume One DVD Collection,” which comes out tomorrow, includes the first 13 episodes of the series in a lavish three-disc set. Like the “Family Guy” DVD collections, the “Dad” set will include plenty of episode commentaries, deleted scenes and other extras. Also included will be a bonus disc of “Family Guy” footage never before available on DVD, including 23 deleted scenes from the series’ fourth season.

“The great thing about DVD is that it allows you to utilize things that couldn’t be done on TV,” Mr. MacFarlane said.

Pianos and choppers

Billy Joel may be the Piano Man but in his spare time he’s Chopper Man, a collector of antique motorcycles.

So, when he wanted someone to create a vintage Indian Bobber chopper, he dropped by Orange County Choppers, home of the Discovery Channel’s “American Chopper” series.

Mr. Joel’s close encounter with the custom motorcycle-building Teutul family airs tonight

The new episode finds Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. visiting Mr. Joel’s New York home to find out more about their special client. Once there, they get a personal tour of the singer’s motorcycle collection and discover that he wants to witness every step of the motorcycle’s construction.

Everybody Loves Mick?

Sir Mick Jagger could have a new title — sitcom star.

The Hollywood Reporter claims the Rolling Stones singer is in talks to appear in a pilot about a celebrity who is the target of a plot by a group of blue-collar New York workers to rob someone famous.

The show had been titled “I Want to Rob Jeff Goldblum,” but the lanky American actor never signed on for the role as the hapless celebrity. Producers then rewrote the pilot for the 62-year-old rock legend, but he would appear in only a few scenes and the show would not carry his name in its title, the industry publication said.

It’s not as if Mr. Jagger is begging for work of late.

The Rolling Stones wrapped up the spring leg of their world tour in New Zealand on Tuesday and will begin the European leg in Barcelona on May 27.

• Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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