Fans of Family Guy have been left stunned after creator Seth MacFarlane took the incredible decision to kill off a permanent member of the Griffin family - Brian. Voiced by MacFarlane himself, Brian was run over by a car and killed in last night's episode of the adult animation. He was 8 in human years, and 55 in dog years. The tragedy occurred as Brian was playing street hockey with Stewie - the family's talking baby - who was unharmed during the accident. There has been an outpouring of public anger over the plot, however, with many fans taking to micro-social networking website Twitter to blast MacFarlane over his decision to kill the likable alcoholic writing enthusiast. One user, named Kelsi McDougle, even questioned whether the show could continue, writing:
"Brian Griffin died on #FamilyGuy last night how does the show even go on?"Another, Josh Wheatley, simply said:
"WHY WOULD THEY KILL OFF BRIAN GRIFFIN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"Writers say the decision to kill off Brian, who has been a main character of the show since day one, was made to "shake things up." Show bosses even replaced Brian with a new pet - tough-talking dog Vinnie, introduced in the new episode. 'Vinnie' will be voiced by Tony Sirico, perhaps best known for his role as Paulie Walnuts Gautieri in The Sopranos. Executive producer Steve Callaghan further explained the decision to kill off Brian to E! Online:
"Well, this was an idea that got pitched in the writers room and it sort of caught fire, and we thought it could be a fun way to shake things up. "As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters."Rival animation The Simpsons are also planning to kill off one of their main characters next year. What do you think about the decision to axe Brian? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.