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MacFarlane special loses Microsoft Family Guy Login to vote
---company yanks sponsorship of fox show---

microsoft has yanked its sponsorship off fox's upcoming seth macfarlane comedy/variety special.
fox still plans to air "family guy presents: seth and alex's almost live comedy show" on nov. 8, but with another, yet-to-be-named sponsor.

"almost live comedy show" was announced earlier this month as part of a major marketing partnership microsoft had sealed with a wide range of news corp. properties to promote the launch of the computer giant's new windows 7 operating system. exec producers include event specials vet ken ehrlich.

but that was before microsoft execs attended the special's taping on oct. 16. the special included macfarlane and alex borstein - the voice of "family guy" matriarch lois - pitching windows 7.

for most of the special, however, macfarlane and borstein made typical "family guy" style jokes, including riffs on deaf people, the holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest.

that apparently was a bit too much for microsoft.

"we initially chose to participate in the seth and alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of 'family guy,' but after reviewing an early version of the variety show it became clear that the content was not a fit with the windows brand," said a microsoft spokesperson. "we continue to have a good partnership with fox, seth macfarlane and alex borstein and are working with them in other areas. we continue to believe in the value of brand integrations and partnerships between brands, media companies and talent."

in initially announcing the deal, a microsoft consumer engagement/advertising general manager gayle troberman said she wasn't concerned about how windows 7 might be treated on the show.

although microsoft is no longer a part of "almost live comedy show," the rest of the company's marketing deal - which still includes a "family guy" component - remains.

beyond the macfarlane special, microsoft's multimillion-dollar deal with fox one encompasses a wide range of news corp. properties, including fox sports, fx, hulu, foxsports.com on msn, fox licensing and merchandising and 20th century fox tv. partnership includes a 12-week college tour sponsored by fox licensing and merchandising-- featuring events such as "family guy"-themed movie nights.

fox decided to air the "almost live comedy show" special as part of an all-seth macfarlane night on nov. 8.

macfarlane will host the evening via interstitials. along with "almost live comedy show," fox will air new episodes of macfarlane's other series that night --- "american dad" at 7:30 p.m., "family guy" at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. and "the cleveland show" at 9:30 p.m.

Source: Variety.com, By MICHAEL SCHNEIDER
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