FOX hit 'Family Guy' celebrates 21 years

"We debuted to a gigantic number, because we were on after the Super Bowl.  And then we weren't on the air for about six weeks, and then it was almost like, 'Did that really happen?'"

Executive Producer Danny Smith is recalling the 1999 premiere of a little show called Family Guy on FOX.  Of course, we all know how the story ends; Family Guy remains one of the most beloved animated shows on television, gaining new fans every single season. But its fate wasn't always so clear.

"In my experience, the second time we were canceled, we were dead and gone, and all scattered like roaches.  And then, God bless the people who bought those DVDs, because it was almost two years that had gone by, and we were at a party at Seth's [MacFarlane] house, and he said, 'You hear about the DVDs?'"

The popularity of those DVDs led Family Guy back to FOX, where it's been running ever since.  Now part of Sunday's Animation Domination lineup, it shares the night with fellow animated hits The Simpsons, Bob's Burgersand newcomer Duncanville.

We caught up with Danny Smith at the recent SCAD aTVfest here in Atlanta; click the video player to watch more of our interview about the legacy of the long-running hit.