Fox Picks Up Seth MacFarlane-Produced Series “Bordertown”

Seth MacFarlane’s stable of animation writers have finally been given a dumping ground for all their offensive Mexican jokes and stereotypes. Fox has announced a 13-episode pick-up of Bordertown created and written by Family Guy exec producer Mark Hentemann, who will executive produce with MacFarlane. Alex Carter (Family Guy) and Dan Vebber (American Dad) are the co-executive producers.

The show, which wil debut in fall 2014 and will be produced by 20th Century Fox Television, is described as such:

Bordertown will take a satirical look at the cultural shifts occurring throughout America. Set in a fictitious desert town near the Mexico border, the series centers on the intertwining daily lives of two neighbors: Bud Buckwald and Ernesto Gonzales. Married and a father of three, Bud is a Border Patrol agent who feels threatened by the cultural changes that have transformed his neighborhood. Living next door to Bud is Ernesto, an industrious Mexican immigrant and father of four, who is proud to be making it in America. As Bud and Ernesto’s paths begin to cross, their families become bound by friendship, romance and conflict.

The show was designed to replace American Dad! which is moving from Fox to TBS in 2014. Bordertown will air on Sundays alongside The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob’s Burgers on Fox’s Animation Domination line-up.


  • KermitDFrog

    Oh good, something else to not watch.

    • New Fan Of The Show

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  • SgtPinkie

    That picture has to be a joke. It just has to be

  • JRon

    Oh God.

  • Alex Irish

    Yet more Family Guy-clones to expel their derision on us

  • Kevin Martinez

    So, does this mean Seth’s Flintstones reboot is officially dead?

    Because this doesn’t sound like it has any potential at all.

  • Bourbon

    Top Gear has 1 news section about a Mexican car and a massive uproar kicks off leaving the presenters and BBC to apologise, yet America can make comedies one after another offending the Mexicans and no apology needed?

    I’m just about still watching Seth’s other shows, but I don’t know yet if I’ll get through one episode of this. It’ll get a chance though. :/

  • http://deaniac.deviantart.com/ Deaniac

    I would glady take Sit Down, Shut Up, Allen Gregory, and the Napoleon Dynamite cartoon over this.

    Okay, maybe not Allen Gregory. But still.

    • Hulk

      I worked on on Allen Gregory and I agree with you!

      • http://deaniac.deviantart.com/ Deaniac

        This made me laugh harder than it really should have. My condolences.

  • Jaysterron

    Why does the American family look like they were spliced together with Human DNA and Sacks of Potatoes? This isn’t a show, this a Dr Moreau experiment gone horribly wrong!

  • Luke Aston

    American dad got moved to tbs for this ?

    • Debergerack

      It’s the whole King of the Hill getting replaced scenario all over again…

      • Kris Kail

        King of the Hill was showing signs of Simpsonitis though, that last season had a couple great episodes but a lot of the episodes focused on characters acting in ways they would NEVER act in previous seasons. Bobby excited to join the baseball team? Hank actively trying to discourage him? The writers were starting to lose ideas fast and luckily it ended before it could become stale.

        Now American Dad, on the other hand, has never been better. The episode where Steve and Snott make clones of girls they could take to the prom as dates was absolute genius. I’m glad it’s found a new home, TBS will treat it good.

  • fbt

    i really can’t stand the animated shows on fox anymore, they keep making more and more. It always feels and look the same (except for the Simpsons ). To say this simply “it’s BORING”.I don’t want to offend anyone but that’s just how i feel.

    • Jake

      American Dad! and Bob’s Burgers are the only ones watching on Fox anymore. And by next year, I’ll probably stop watching Fox altogether once AD! moves to TBS. The Simpsons is just running on fumes and Family Guy couldn’t be worse than it is now.

  • Hey Now

    More shows, more jobs for artists. But hey, snark away I guess.

    • Karl Hungus

      The Fox shows are some of the worst jobs for artists. You are an artist that is 100% beholden to writers. And you bet they’ll take liberties with your time and your effort. Artists don’t contribute on Fox shows. They draw what the writers tell them to – or more to the point – they try to guess what the writers want. Sound like fun? Fox writers shoot down the first thing they see and ask for it again nearly every time… because they don’t know what they want. They don’t have a vision – those shows are just a stream of non sequiturs. You’ll learn what a “placeholder” joke is. You’re not working with writers, you’re trying to be the wrist that can draw for people who have never drawn before. You draw what someone above tells you to draw based on what someone above them told them they wanted to see, based on what the writers think might work at that given day. But its definitely going to change the closer you get to the deadline.
      So go work for a Fox animated show! They throw lots of money at shows to solve the problems their paranoid hierarchy creates. Just don’t expect to contribute creatively.

      • Hulk

        Amen Brother!

      • Hey Now

        Karl, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. I DO work at Fox. Every animated tv show is beholden to some degree to writers. But a network show generally pays better and has much more generous schedules than any other basic cable animated TV production. You can actually have a life on weekends.You want to contribute creatively to a production? Go work for Cartoon Network and have to write AND storyboard AND do animatics while only getting paid as a storyboard artist.

        • Roberto Severino

          I didn’t know that. In terms of pay, it’s hard to go wrong with the FOX job if that’s true. There was a guy on here who worked on The Cleveland Show who had a great time working on it, even if the style of the show makes harder to draw expressions and stuff. He was still able to work with a good team.

    • Nice Rose-Tinted Glasses

      I’ve heard nothing but complaints and terrible memories from artists who’ve worked on Fox shows – Getting treated like stupid art-machine cattle, last minute revisions, poor communication from production, long hours with no overtime…

  • Elana Pritchard

    Lame.

  • Toonio

    Fox is squishing the honeymooners comedy concept into oblivion, yet with a McFarlane showing signs of creative exhaustion and burn out.

    Sure, you can satirize and mock popular culture and turn up a quick buck, but that train won’t take you that far.

    Hopefully this will end up like the Cleveland show more sooner than later.

  • toonimated

    Hey, don’t everybody go judging it just cause Seth’s name is on it. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be really good!

    • Barrett

      I don’t object because Seth’s name is on it. Despite the rather bland art style, I do actually enjoy Family Guy and American Dad more often than not. My objection isn’t even over the racial aspect, that whole issue is really another discussion entirely, best had once we’ve seen an episode or two.

      No, my objection is that ONCE AGAIN, ugly artwork with no design sense is being foisted upon us. If this is being done to “make up for” Murder Police, than somebody shart the bed. Murder Police had a very bland art style too, but it at least had some basic sense of aesthetics, albeit in a King of the Hill/Animated Napoleon Dynamite kind of way. This…….this looks even uglier than the jokes likely to be written for it.

      • Roberto Severino

        I can definitely see a difference between MP’s visuals and this. They actually canceled Murder Police before ever airing a single episode by the way. David Goodman’s involvement in it kind of raises a bell for me seeing that he wrote the two Fred movies for Nick, but he also wrote “Where No Fan Has Gone Before” on Futurama, which was actually a great episode. He’s also done a lot of work on Family Guy.

        • Funkybat

          Does anyone know how many Murder Police episodes are already in the can? I know there is talk of airing it on another network or maybe Netflix or Hulu, but I’d bet that sales job would be easier if at least 7 or 8 eps were completed already. It was not a show I was especially excited about, but I was looking forward to something original and not Seth MacFarlane-related coming to Sunday night. Other than Bob’s Burgers, when was the last time something not connected to Seth got green-lit for prime time animation?

  • TheGreatWormSpirit

    Hey it’s 3 South.

    • Juice

      Dude i know!!! That caught my eye but then i looked closer and i think they may have reused some of the characters.

      Honestly the writing ( Despite how stupid funny it was) made the show.

      Let’s see what happens with this.

    • Roberto Severino

      Whoa! You’re right. I looked on Wikipedia and behold, Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan created that show. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Ron Hughart even worked as a supervising director on that show.

      • juice

        Do those two even write for Family guy anymore? i mean like the latest seasons. The wiki said Hentemann wrote for season one of Family Guy.
        I remember watching 3-south and I had to get use to the animation style but I stayed for Brian Posehn and the writing.
        Which was pretty good but that was way back in like 2006 i think? It didn’t take it self too seriously and that’s what made it memorable.

        THIS HOWEVER looks terrible like Allen Gregory terrible. Get ready to the flood of Mexican stereotypes

        • toonimated

          Mark and Steve are actually the current showrunners for Family Guy.

  • Hulk

    Who designed it? It doesn’t look like Seth’s style. The visual style looks familiar but I can’t put a name on it. Reminds me of some MTV shows from the late 90′s and early 2000′s.

    • Karl Hungus

      Who cares! The family has a baby, an anthropomorphized dog, a son, a daughter, and a mom and dad. So the template is there, and the fourth time is a charm. Why take ANY risks!
      This is commerce, not art.

    • Zack

      3 South

  • Dana B

    This is….I don’t like this…

  • Illy

    These designs are hideous…

  • Roberto Severino

    Way to go FOX. Getting rid of Seth’s only decent show right now for this potential piece of garbage. I’m going to assume this was one of the reasons why Mike Barker’s leaving American Dad, so surely enough he’s read the writing on the wall. At least Dan Vebber’s working on this, so maybe it won’t be so bad, but I just have a bad feeling about this. Seems like Seth got one of the Bob’s Burgers people to design this show sort of.

    These people really haven’t learned anything from The Cleveland Show or that godawful Dads show. Ugh.

    • Jake

      Only decent show? American Dad is miles better than a decent show right now. I just hope it’ll stay that way next season once Steve Callaghan takes over as show runner. If the quality is up to par with how it is right now, it could keep going for a few more years to come.

  • mowub

    Great. They’re ripping off Klasky Csupo’s short-lived Santo Bugito, only now it’s with humans instead of insects.

    • Barrett

      Oh, don’t even compare this to Klasky-Csupo. I consider pretty much all of Klasky-Csupo’s art to be “ugly,” but it was “ugly with a design sense.” Kind of like a corny movie that is “so bad it’s good”, K-C mastered a certain look that made things so creepy and awkward (but in a purposeful way) that it came out somewhat appealing. The designs were never my cup of tea, but I respected them because when you watched the shows you could see it was done with care and was deliberate. They made deliberate art choices. Stuff like the Bordertown art just comes off as lazy, designed to be ugly for no reason other than limitations of the artists and/or to make it easier for Korea to stay on-model with simple, simplistic designs with no line weight variation or dynamic range of expression.

      • Funkybat

        Klasky-Csupo definitely had a certain…..aesthetic….to their productions. ;) I really liked their work on the early seasons on the Simpsons. They were probably the best choice to go with if one wanted to animate the way Matt Groening draws.

        I had forgotten all about Santo Bugito. Other than the ethnic background, I don’t really see any similarity between it and this new show, though I do see the “3 South” similarity someone mentioned earlier.

  • http://www.sweetposer.com/urbmn/ Cameron Archer

    The announcement of Bordertown puts a lie to the conceit that Animation Domination High-Def’s shows have a chance to break primetime.

    I can understand a Fox executive’s reasons for greenlighting Bordertown, but after middling performers like The Cleveland Show, The Winner and Dads, I wonder how much longer the effects of the MacFarlane Kool-Aid will last.

  • George Comerci

    In my opinion, Seth should write more serious things. It’s clear he’s making a reputation for himself, just by looking at the comments. And this…looks horrible. Why doesn’t he take a break from “comedy” and write something serious and mature? He’s a somewhat talented writer, after all, and I’d like to see him try new things. And stick with animation, of course.

    • Kenshiroh

      He’s got that Cosmos reboot coming up soon.

  • ddrazen

    Will someone at Fox FINALLY admit that Seth McFarland has jumped the shark and shouldn’t produce animation any more? Let him make like Frank Tashlin and deal with live-action features if “Ted” was so freaking successful.

    • Funkybat

      I wouldn’t really even count this as a Seth MacFarlane show, seeing as he doesn’t seem to have any connection to the art or the writing. That’s like saying the revived “Cosmos” will be a Seth show. I consider this to be a “Mark Hentemann show” and it will either fly or crash on its own merits,

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Makes you wonder what MacFarlane’s script was like?

  • Marco

    “… for all their offensive Mexican jokes and stereotypes.”

    I find it funny that Americans have the need to feel offended in the name of everyone. Chill out. I’m Mexican and don’t really mind their jokes. Hell, some of them are spot-on.

  • Steve

    Nice! Mark Mark Hentemann from 3 South. I knew I recognized that art style. That show was hilarious!

  • dave

    this show makes family guy look well drawn.

  • Barrett

    I think Matt is right to a point, but it seems people pitching adult TV animation (or the execs who approve these shows) have fallen back on that as an excuse to never try to do anything resembling “classic cartoons” even if they have a decent budget. The Flintstones and the Jetsons were stiff and plain compared to Looney Tunes, but they still had artistry behind them. The HB artists used their economic and time constraints to push styles that had appeal, even if they were not as richly animated or dimensional as something done for theaters. UPA of course was the pinnacle of this kind of “art on a shoestring” approach, and I’m not saying we should expect something that boundry-pushing for the next “dysfunctional family with a twist” TV series on Fox. But fer Chrissakes, is it too much to ask that the lead aritsts do something that doesn’t look like the doodles of a mediocre high school student? I feel like the MacFarlane shows have convinced any execs not already thinking such that the most marketable TV animation for adults is “mean-spirited writing with piss-poor art, so as not to distract or detract from the writing.”

    People shouldn’t be trying to make the next Rocky & Bullwinkle. Jay Ward could and did do better animation when given a bigger budget, such as for cereal commercials. There was also a certain Mod style to his art that had way more appeal than the line weight-free distorted drivel 90% of adult cartoons feature. When shows like “Archer” and “Mother Up” represent the height of art design in this genre, it’s time to throw out the playbook.

  • fuckface

    my god, and I thought family guy looked flat

  • Kuntos

    with more mixed humor. Family Guy got WAAAAAAAAAAY too repetitive and VERY fast. :I same recurring jokes every five minutes it felt like.

  • Kuntos

    i’ll give it a look at the least, but it doesn’t sound that appealing from what little is shown here. though to be fair; it sounds 20 times better than that nonsense called “Sleepy Hollow” that just began airing a month or so back. :V

  • Roberto Severino

    I’d be indifferent to it to be honest. Anything is better than watching Dads at this point (which he gets executive producer credit for) and that’s not saying much.

    I haven’t watched the original Flintstones in years, but I remember the first season of it being the best and having the funniest animation. Seth’s an interesting choice because of his Hanna-Barbera background, so out of curiosity, I would have wanted to see what a pilot of his version would have been like.

    If he kept the drawing style the same as the original (first two seasons at least) and really made the writing much funnier, maybe it would have worked. That On the Rocks movie from many years ago seems like the best thing that’s ever been done with those characters long after the show ended, IMO, so it would be awesome if he got the same designers and artists from that production to work on his version.

    • Kris Kail

      I was absolutely poised to hate dads until that first episode when Martin Mull comes into the kitchen naked with a towel around his waist and the towel drops in front of his son’s wife and he goes “Well now that you’ve seen it I guess we’re family” or something to that effect. He makes that show watchable, what a lovable guy.

  • Roberto Severino

    Definitely a difference between early Family Guy and what it became much later, really starting around Season 7 for me, with some decline beginning around Seasons 4 and 5, which was pretty much when the show was revived because of the massive success of the DVDs and the Adult Swim reruns. The earlier episodes were pretty edgy without being overly shocking and the characters weren’t so watered down and mean spirited for no reason. I always wondered why we don’t see Chris draw that much in the new episodes and likewise with Lois being a piano teacher.

  • https://twitter.com/ChappellTracker Chappell Ellison

    Does anyone know if any Hispanic or Mexican-American writers will be involved? Why am I even asking this.

    *Campaign to Ban Seth MacFarlane*

  • onett

    Just to clarify, the show is going to be written and consulted by Lalo Alcaraz, the artist behind “La Cucaracha” comic strip. He has a good point in pointing out that a lot of people are calling the show racist and stereotypical when it hasn’t even been written yet.

    http://pocho.com/hollywood-has-called-my-bluff-with-bordertown-at-fox/

    • Roberto Severino

      Alright. That’s a bit of a relief that at least the creator of this show hired people who have had some experience with the culture and I took a look at a few of the comic strips and liked what I saw. Not sure if they really needed to have to make this a show centered around two families when the comic strip is already pretty interesting in itself. Still doesn’t change my opinion about FOX’s poor decisions and the other stuff people brought up, but I’m very happy for Mr. Alcaraz.

  • Funkybat

    Good animation really is lacking in cartoons aimed at the adult market, and it’s a shame, particularly because there is no production/economic reason for it.

    Seth MacFarlane’s “Cartoon Cartoon” pilot “Larry & Steve” had some really nice cartoony takes and actual lively animation. The character designs were still rather simple and flat, but the final cartoon felt more punchy and wild than Family Guy. The pilot was meant to be for a limited-animation show produced mainly overseas, so there’s no reason FG couldn’t have had that level of animation. I wish that kind of toony-ness had been retained for FG instead of the more sterile range of expression and posing, but here we are.

    I will admit that in later seasons and on American Dad, there seemed to be more willingness to push things with the art, but a lot of the time this had more to do with the staging and camerawork being made more “epic” than the art normally allows, rather than pushing poses and expression. In a way, this “spread” to the Simpsons, which in its first 6-7 seasons seemed more willing to do wild takes and crazy animated sequences than it has in recent years.

    Somebody in a decision-making position needs to take the chance on something with cartoony expression and a sense of design. If the writing is strong and has mainstream appeal (rather than just geek/niche appeal, such as Venture Bros.), it would be a sure hit.

  • anita

    This plain hurts

  • bones

    any one else see the design resemblance of 3 south?

  • Kris Kail

    At least it doesn’t have the terrible Seth MacFarlane style, it was good back in the late 90′s when it looked crappy but once they streamlined it it really looks terrible.

  • Kris Kail

    The Simpsons Movie is absolutely beautiful, I don’t know why the TV show has to still look like crap when they’ve proven they could make it look good!

  • Kris Kail

    With the amount of money The Simpsons brings in yearly, even with the falling ratings since the 90′s “Simpsons-mania”, the budget for the show should forever be a sideways 8

  • Jake

    This is truly one of the worst decisions Fox has ever made. American Dad! is by far the best sitcom on their Animation Domination block, and the fact that these idiots are replacing it with a piece of trash like Bordertown is nothing short of stupid. I really hope AD! will be able to thrive on TBS next year ’cause one thing’s for sure: Fox’s Animation Empire just got a whole lot less funnier, and I sure as hell won’t be tuning in anymore.

  • Jake

    This new show looks beyond terrible. The animation style is hideous, and the fact that it’s replacing American Dad!, one of the best animated shows on TV today (if not the best) is pure blasphemy. I’m just glad that AD! will at least be able to have a second life on TBS, even if it is a downgrade from broadcast to cable. Still, it hasn’t been cancelled for good just yet, which I’m happy about. Come late 2014, Fox’s Animation Domination lineup is gonna be at an all-time low.

  • Darrell Wilson

    His shows been feeling more like Go! Animate…which is bad. On the flip side, Harry Partridge did a parody to that that cheers me up every time.

  • KC

    This show LOOKS as dumb as it SOUNDS. Can we stop pushing the Latino agenda please? Nobody in this country celebrates asians or whites. Everyone needs to quit obsessing over race and just be PEOPLE.

    The animation looks about as low-quality as Bob’s Burgers. How can they CANCEL the Cleveland Show and order this series? It’s going to fail before the first season is over.

  • KC

    Amercian Dad is pretty awesome. And I totally agree with you on the crappy animation.