Mac Farlane, in an interview with a news program on WNAC-TV, Channel 64 in Providence, stated that the town is modeled after Cranston, Rhode Island.In 1996 Mac Farlane created a sequel to The Life of Larry entitled Larry and Steve, which featured a middle-aged character named Larry and an intellectual dog, Steve; the short was broadcast in 1997 as one of Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toons.The show is set in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island, and exhibits much of its humor in the form of metafictional cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture.The family was conceived by Mac Farlane after developing two animated films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve.Mac Farlane redesigned the films' protagonist, Larry, and his dog, Steve, and renamed them Peter and Brian, respectively.Mac Farlane pitched a seven-minute pilot to Fox in 1998, and the show was greenlit and began production.
The series centers on the Griffins, a family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children, Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog, Brian.
Recurring characters appear alongside the Griffin family.
These include the family's neighbors: sex-crazed airline pilot bachelor Quagmire; African-American deli owner Cleveland and his wife Loretta (later Donna); paraplegic police officer Joe, his wife Bonnie, their son Kevin and their baby daughter Susie; neurotic Jewish pharmacist Mort, his wife Muriel, and their geeky and annoying son Neil; and elderly child molester Herbert.
Both left the series to create the ongoing adult animated sitcom American Dad! The writing process of Family Guy generally starts with 14 writers that take turns writing the scripts; when a script is finished it is given to the rest of the writers to read. Various gags are pitched to Mac Farlane and the rest of the staff, and those deemed funniest are included in the episode.
Mac Farlane has explained that normally it takes 10 months to produce an episode because the show uses hand-drawn animation.