Smart people don’t often seem like they are anywhere near the world of television sometimes. One has to go through countless dumb programming to find creative minds that know what they are doing. But there are people in the television world that are exceedingly brilliant at their jobs, and Entertainment Weekly has found at least 25 of them. But topping the list of the smartest people on TV is someone who has made a fortune on dumb animated people.
Seth MacFarlane may be the definition of a love him or hate him creative mind on television. MacFarlane is the creator of what has turned into a multi-million animated empire on FOX, with Family Guy, American Dad and the upcoming The Cleveland Show.
For all of that and more, MacFarlane- Peter Griffin himself- is the smartest person on television, according to Entertainment Weekly.
MacFarlane was originally doomed to obscurity just a few years ago after Family Guy was cancelled by FOX. But the rabid cult fanbase of the crazy Griffins, plus the highly rated reruns on Adult Swim, persuaded FOX to bring MacFarlane and Family Guy back.
Since then, Family Guy has stood side by side with The Simpsons as FOX’s biggest animated cash cow. It also allowed MacFarlane to create the less popular but still running American Dad.
This spring, MacFarlane will debut his Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show, giving him three shows to run at once. All told, MacFarlane is making over $100 million in TV’s most expensive contract, which runs until 2012.
MacFarlane is proclaimed the smartest person on TV despite a fair share of detractors. Some are from the right wing, with his increased attacks on Republicans and religion on Family Guy. Some are from animation rivals, like when South Park utterly trashed Family Guy in their famed “Cartoon Wars” episodes a few years ago.
Some MacFarlane haters are even from Entertainment Weekly itself. TV critic Ken Tucker has written very negative reviews of Family Guy for years, which MacFarlane has referenced on Family Guy several times.