Variety is reporting that Fox is planning to release an 83-minute Family Guy feature film direct to DVD on September 27th. The cartoon feature, Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, is unrated and will include an audio commentary, deleted scenes and other bonus features. Fox plans to back the release with the most extensive marketing campaign the studio has ever mounted for a direct-to-DVD premiere movie.
The Lazarus-like Family Guy TV series, one of the few shows to come back from cancellation, is a great candidate for a direct-to-DVD release since the property owes its return to its stellar performance on DVD. The first season of Family Guy, which was released on DVD in 2003, has sold an estimated 2.5 million, second only to the best-selling TV DVD of all time, Chappelle's Show (over 3 million units sold). So far the three Family Guy DVD releases have sold over four million units.
In addition to performing extremely well on DVD and in its return stint on Fox, the Family Guy series is the backbone of the Cartoon Network's popular Adult Swim programming block, and Fox has licensed an increasing amount of Family Guy merchandise (see 'Stewie Leads 'Family Guy' Brand Blitz'), which should allow retailers to take advantage of the publicity barrage accompanying the release of the Family Guy feature film on DVD this fall.