|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10
|Directed by||Greg Colton|
|Written by||Andrew Goldberg|
|Original air date||September 25, 2011|
"Lottery Fever" is the first episode of the tenth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy and the series' 166th episode overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 25, 2011. The episode follows the Griffin family after they win the state lottery, and go on to spend the money with no regard. Peter becomes power hungry, and demands that Quagmire and Joe perform tasks for him when he invests in one of their projects. This ultimately causes the group to end their friendship, to the dismay of Peter's wife, Lois, who tells her husband that the money has changed him for the worse. After continually wasting the money on various expenditures, the family discovers that they have gone broke, and reluctantly return to their lives as a lower middle class family. Peter also goes on to repair his broken friendships, after begging Joe and Quagmire for their forgiveness.
The episode was written by Andrew Goldberg and directed by Greg Colton. "Lottery Fever" received mixed reviews from television critics for its storyline and cultural references. According to Nielsen ratings, it was viewed in 7.69 million homes in its original airing. The episode featured guest performances by Randy Crenshaw, Judy Greer, Christine Lakin, Chris O'Dowd, Tara Strong and Fred Tatasciore, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series.
The Griffin family begins living on a stricter budget. A local news story on the lottery influences Peter to buy a ticket in hopes that he will win and set the family on a better financial platform. Peter reveals to his family that he has bought several thousand lottery tickets, admitting that he has taken out a second mortgage on the house in order to buy them. After watching the results of the lottery that night, they discover that they have indeed won it. The family are unable to decide how they should spend all the money, though Lois states that she does not want it to change their lifestyle. Defiant, Peter decides to begin living lavishly, and quits his job.
After Peter agrees to invest in Quagmire's projects, involving penis enhancement, Peter demands that he and Joe hang out with him in order to pay him back, and perform random tasks (including Joe asking for Stevie Nicks to play three songs for Bonnie). The two become annoyed by Peter's demands and they decide to leave Peter and end their friendship. Peter continues to spend the money with no regard. Eventually Lois warns him that he is changing for the worse, along with the other family members. Peter tells her that they no longer have to worry about expenses, and presents her with a blood diamond, winning her over. When they go to a restaurant, Peter discovers his credit card got declined, and his money disappeared. After buying more lottery tickets, winning again, and then blowing it again, the family is distraught over losing their fortune, and Peter returns to the local bar later that day to repair his friendship with Joe and Quagmire. He admits that the money caused him to forget who his real friends are; Quagmire and Joe accept his apology, and offer him money from the investment that he had given them. The family then goes back to living comfortably at their home in Quahog, despite being depressed over having everything and then losing it.
Production and development
The episode was first announced on July 27, 2011, during a "sweepstakes" hosted by 20th Century Fox. The sweepstakes reportedly would provide the winner with $3,000, as well as the announcement of the winner's name during the episode's premiere in the United States. It was directed by series regular Greg Colton, who had previously directed several of the Road to... episodes, including the Emmy Award winning episodes "Road to the Multiverse" and "Road to the North Pole". The episode was written by series regular Andrew Goldberg, who joined the show in its sixth season. Series regulars Peter Shin and James Purdum served as supervising directors, with Andrew Goldberg, Alex Carter, Spencer Porter, Anthony Blasucci, Mike Desilets and Deepak Sethi serving as staff writers for the episode. Composer Walter Murphy, who has worked on the series since its inception, returned to compose the music for "Lottery Fever". The episode first premiered at an advance screening in Chicago, Illinois at the Kerasotes Theatre.
In addition to the regular cast, voice actor Randy Crenshaw, actress Judy Greer, actress Christine Lakin, comedian Chris O'Dowd, voice actress Tara Strong and voice actor Fred Tatasciore guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voice actors Alexandra Breckenridge, voice actor John G. Brennan, writer Danny Smith, writer Alec Sulkin, and writer John Viener made minor appearances. Recurring guest voice actor Adam West made another appearance in this episode.
At the beginning of the episode, Peter, Brian and Chris are watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as edited for goats on TV; the live action scene involving Khan saying he's marooned for all eternity is shown, in which Kirk yells "Khan" as "BAA!". Peter forces Joe to watch True Blood. Peter jumping in a room full of gold coins is a reference to the animated series Duck Tales. The bar scene in which the waiter Peter likes starts to sing, is a reference to the "Trolololol" internet meme featuring Eduard Khil.
Bruce Jenner reference
The beginning of the episode shows a cutaway gag of Peter performing on a USO Tour (presumably using Bob Hope's comedy routine as his own) to the United States Navy before introducing Bruce Jenner, who performs burlesque to the tune of The Stripper. While the reference at the time was to the fact that Jenner's then-wife Kris Jenner "wore the pants" in their marriage, in a bit of life imitating art, the clip would resurface in 2015 when reports surfaced that Jenner was transitioning to a trans woman following his divorce from Kris. It would also be referenced in the season 9 episode "We Love You, Conrad".
"Lottery Fever" was broadcast on September 25, 2011, as a part of an animated television night on Fox, and was preceded by the season premiere of The Simpsons ("The Falcon and the D'ohman") and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane's spin-off series The Cleveland Show ("BFFs"). It was followed by MacFarlane's other series American Dad!. It was watched by 7.69 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings, despite airing simultaneously with Desperate Housewives on ABC, The Good Wife on CBS and Sunday Night Football on NBC. The episode also acquired a 4.1/9 rating in the 18–49 demographic, beating all three shows, in addition to significantly edging out The Cleveland Show and American Dad! in total viewership. The episode's ratings decreased significantly from the previous season's premiere episode, "And Then There Were Fewer".
The episode received mixed reviews. Kevin McFarland of The A.V. Club graded the episode a C, stating "I would have less of a problem with the typically shallow excuse for a plot if there was more funny material, but even by Family Guy standards, there wasn’t a whole lot in this episode". Kate Moon of TV Fanatic gave a 3/5 rating. She disliked the parts where Peter "[was] acting like a douche to his friends", calling them "[not] interesting enough to watch for 23 minutes". She also stated the episode would have "vastly improved" if the plot was on Brian and Stewie.
The episode debuted in the United Kingdom (and was followed by "Seahorse Seashell Party") on 20 May 2012, with 1.55 million viewers. It was the sixth most watched episode on a single night on the BBC Three channel.
- "Family Guy Preview: "Lottery Fever"". IGN. 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
- Boedeker, Hal (2011-07-27). "‘Family Guy’ sponsors sweepstakes for Sept. 25 premiere". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- Colton, Greg; Goldberg, Andrew; MacFarlane, Seth (2011-09-25). "Lottery Fever". Family Guy. Season 10. Episode 01. Fox.
- "2010 Creative Arts Emmy Winners Press Release" (PDF). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "2011 Primetime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
- Wagner, Curt (2011-09-12). "See 'Family Guy' S10 premiere at Chicago advance screening". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- "Family Guy: Cast & Details". TV Guide. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
- Moon, Kate (2012-09-25). "Family Guy Review: "Lottery Fever"". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
- McFarland, Kevin (2011-09-25). "Lottery Fever". The A.V. Club (The Onion, Inc.). Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- BRUCE JENNER’S TRANSFORMATION: ‘FAMILY GUY’ CALLED IT FIRST — WATCH! In Touch Weekly (01/14/2015)
- Gorman, Bill (2011-09-27). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Desperate Housewives,' 'CSI:Miami,' 'The Simpsons' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- Gorman, Bill (2010-09-27). "TV Ratings: Sunday Night Football Wins; Simpsons, Cleveland Show, Family Guy, Makeover, Housewives All Down vs. Last Season’s Premieres". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
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