The Cleveland Show

The Cleveland Show
The Cleveland Show
The Cleveland Show.png
The Brown/Tubbs family. From left to right: Back: Cleveland, Donna, Roberta. Front: Cleveland, Jr. and Rallo
Genre Animation
Adult comedy
Cutaway gag humour
Created by Seth MacFarlane
Mike Henry
Richard Appel
Voices of Mike Henry
Sanaa Lathan
Kevin Michael Richardson
Reagan Gomez-Preston
Jason Sudeikis
Seth MacFarlane
Theme music composer Walter Murphy
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 46 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Seth MacFarlane
Mike Henry
Richard Appel[1]
Producer(s) Kara Vallow
Editor(s) Kirk Benson
Camera setup Animated rendition of single camera
Running time 22–23 minutes
Production company(s) Person Unknown Productions
Happy Jack Productions
Fuzzy Door Productions
20th Century Fox
Distributor 20th Television
Original channel Fox
Picture format 720p (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original run September 27, 2009[2] – present
Related shows Family Guy
External links

The Cleveland Show is an American animated television series that premiered on September 27, 2009, as a part of the "Animation Domination" lineup on Fox in the United States.[3] The series was created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Henry, and Richard Appel as a spin-off from Family Guy, which was also created by MacFarlane. Mike Judge has said, "It was a waste of air time," (his show King of the Hill was removed to put The Cleveland Show on air), "I mean, I've seen The Cleveland Show, it isn't even funny, it's sh*t!"

The family was conceived by MacFarlane after developing two animated series, Family Guy and American Dad!. MacFarlane took the Family Guy character Cleveland and his son Cleveland, Jr. but redesigned Junior. MacFarlane and Henry pitched a 22-minute pilot to Fox which aired on September 27, 2009 but had been leaked on the internet in June 2009. Even before the pilot episode premiered, the show had already been renewed for a 22-episode second season. After the first season of the show aired, it was given the green light to start production. Shortly after the second season ended in 2011, Fox renewed the series for a third season and a fourth season was announced later that year.[4]

The show's family centers around father Cleveland Brown, who was a featured character on Family Guy. His son Cleveland, Jr. was also on Family Guy (although for this show he was given a redesign to become older, softly-spoken and obese). Three new characters were added to fill out the Brown/Tubbs family.

Since its debut, The Cleveland Show has received mixed reviews from media critics. Reviewers have criticized its similarities to MacFarlane's other shows, Family Guy and American Dad!, and the crass and crude content of its humor. The Parents Television Council named six of the program's first season episodes as the worst TV shows of the week. The show's first season received a viewership of approximately six million, and it was nominated for an award at the 36th People's Choice Awards as well as a nomination at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.



In the beginning of the series, Cleveland Brown and his son, Cleveland Brown, Jr., move from the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island to the fictional town of Stoolbend, Virginia.[5][6]

In the closing scene of the season seven Family Guy episode "Baby Not on Board", Cleveland mentions to Glenn Quagmire that he is getting a spin-off.[7] On the DVD version, Quagmire says "fuck" six times when the two of them are still watching a demonstration of DirecTV.

The theme song originally contained a line referring to Cleveland's "happy black-guy face", but this was replaced with "happy mustached face" to make the song more racially sensitive.[8]


Cleveland's newly introduced family includes his new wife in her early forties, Donna Tubbs Brown (voiced by Sanaa Lathan);[9] Donna's teenage daughter Roberta (originally voiced by Nia Long, but now voiced by Reagan Gomez-Preston); and Donna's five year-old son Rallo (also voiced by Mike Henry).[10][11] Cleveland, Jr. underwent a complete redesign for the show, becoming sensitive, soft-spoken and obese. The children may have been designed to be similar to the Griffin kids from Family Guy (a teenage daughter/Meg, an obese son/Chris, and a troublemaking infant or toddler/Stewie).


The Cleveland Show has four main voice actors and two additional voice actors, some of which play several roles. Mike Henry voices two of the show's main characters, Cleveland and Rallo. The voice of Cleveland was developed originally for Family Guy by Henry after being influenced by one of his best friends who had a very distinct regional accent.[12] For the voice of Rallo, Henry has stated that he had originally created the voice over twenty years ago, when he had made a series of prank calls.[13] In addition, Henry provides the voice of various recurring and one-time characters.

Sanaa Lathan voices Donna, the wife of Cleveland. In developing the character, Lathan said that the producers "wanted her to be educated, but to have some edge."[13] Prior to voicing Donna, Lathan had only one other voice credit in a relatively low budget film entitled The Golden Blaze. In addition to the show, she also primarily worked as an actress in such films as Alien vs. Predator, Love & Basketball and The Family That Preys.

Reagan Gomez-Preston plays Roberta, the stepdaughter of Cleveland. Gomez has stated that she uses her own voice to portray Roberta, and that she herself gets mistaken to be a fifteen year old over the phone "all the time."[13] Before Gomez was cast as Roberta, Nia Long had provided the character's voice during the first production season, before leaving to fulfill prior acting commitments.[10]

Kevin Michael Richardson, a recurring guest voice on Family Guy, portrays Cleveland, Jr., as well as Cleveland's next door neighbor Lester Krinklesac. In portraying Cleveland, Jr., Richardson drew inspiration from a character named Patrick that he had played on the NBC drama series ER who was mentally impaired and wore a football helmet. For Lester, Richardson stated in an interview that being African American, he had "run into a few rednecks in [his] time," and decided to simply perform a stereotypical redneck impression for the voice of Lester.[13]

Jason Sudeikis plays Holt Richter, one of Cleveland's drinking buddies and Terry Kimple, one of Cleveland's longtime friends who now works with him at Waterman Cable. Sudeikis originally began as a recurring cast member, but starting with the episode "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner", he was promoted to a series regular.

Seth MacFarlane plays Tim the Bear, which MacFarlane admits is a "Steve Martin impression [...] a Wild and Crazy Guy impression".

Other voices include that of Arianna Huffington as Tim's wife Arianna the Bear, Nat Faxon as Tim and Arianna's son Raymond the Bear, Jamie Kennedy as Roberta's boyfriend Gabriel Friedman, a.k.a. "Federline Jones", Will Forte as Principal Wally, Frances Callier as Evelyn "Cookie" Brown, Craig Robinson as LeVar "Freight Train" Brown and David Lynch as Gus the bartender.

Main cast members
Mike Henry by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg Sanaa Lathan by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg Reagan Gomez by Gage Skidmore.jpg Kevin Michael Richardson by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg Jason Sudeikis at 2009 NYTVF.jpg Seth MacFarlane by Gage Skidmore 5.jpg
Mike Henry Sanaa Lathan Reagan Gomez-Preston Kevin Michael Richardson Jason Sudeikis Seth MacFarlane
Cleveland Brown and Rallo Tubbs Donna Tubbs Roberta Tubbs Cleveland Brown, Jr. and Lester Krinklesac Holt Richter
and Terry Kimple
Tim the Bear


The show, which was picked up to air a first season consisting of 22 episodes,[14] was picked up by Fox for a second season, consisting of 13 episodes, bringing the total number to 35 episodes. The announcement was made on May 3, 2009, before the first season even premiered.[3] Due to strong ratings FOX picked up the back 9 episodes of season 2 which would make a 22 episode season and bring the total episode count of the show to 44.[15]

On June 10, 2010, Fox ordered a third season of The Cleveland Show, even before airing season 2, as a plan of early renewals to deserving new shows.[citation needed] The Cleveland Show was the highest rated new half hour show in the 18–34 demographics.[citation needed] On May 9, 2011, It was announced that FOX had picked up the show for a third and fourth season.[4]


Critical reception

The Cleveland Show has received mainly mixed reviews, the weakest among MacFarlane shows (the others being Family Guy and American Dad!). Review aggregator Metacritic gave the show a score of 57 out of 100, with a user score of 3.4/10, suggesting "mixed or average reviews".[16] Tom Shales of The Washington Post spoke very negatively about both the show and MacFarlane himself, describing him as "no better than the dirty old man hanging around playgrounds with naughty pictures or risque jokes as lures".[17] Roberto Bianco of USA Today wrote a similarly negative review, suggesting that the easiest fix for its problem was "cancellation".[18] John McWhorter of The New Republic called it "a patronizing mess" and "basically Family Guy in blackface". He added: "What isn't black in it is so shamelessly ripped off from Family Guy that it's hard to believe it's the product of creators who are usually so studiously 'post-' obvious stunts of the sort."[19] However, Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was more positive about the program, writing that although The Cleveland Show was "just as rude-crude" as Family Guy, it also had "more warmth" due to Cleveland being a more likeable character than Peter Griffin. Owen also praised the character of Tim the Bear, stating that "Tim is by far the most amusing creation".[20]

The conservative Parents Television Council has given The Cleveland Show a "red light" designation in the organization's Family Guide to Prime Time Television, for sexual and violent content, and for foul language.[21] "True to form, this Family Guy spin-off is every bit as soul-sucking, nihilistic, infantile, and crass as its predecessor—the only difference being, this serving of filth airs a half-hour earlier, so even more kiddies can tune in!" the PTC stated in deeming the pilot episode its "Worst TV Show of the Week".[22] Five other Season 1 episodes—including several repeat broadcasts—were named "Worst TV Show of the Week".[23][24][25][26][27]

The show has a 5.5 out of 10 ("mediocre") on


Comedy Central picked up ABC's The Goode Family and Fox's Sit Down, Shut Up, and also showed interest in picking up repeats of The Cleveland Show at the time.[when?]

Recently, The Turner Broadcasting System has made a deal to syndicate The Cleveland Show's reruns on TBS and Adult Swim. The show is expected to air on Adult Swim at least during 2013.

The Cleveland Show also broadcasts in the United Kingdom on E4,[28] in Ireland on 3e,[29] in Brazil on FX at 10:30 pm Sunday.[30] It premiered on FOX Portugal June 5, 2010,[31] airing two episodes at night. Also in Russia The Cleveland Show has been broadcasting on 2x2 since September 2, 2010,[32] two episodes previously premiered on regular "2x2 Night of Animation" in "Oktyabr'" cinema on May 14, 2010.[33]

Awards and honors

The show was nominated for Best New TV Comedy at the 36th People's Choice Awards but lost out to Glee.[34] In 2011, the show was nominated for "Outstanding Animated Program" at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.[35]

Television ratings

Season Season premiere Season finale TV season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
1st September 27, 2009 May 23, 2010 2009–2010 #72[36] 6.38[36]
2nd September 26, 2010 May 15, 2011 2010–2011 #85[36] 6.09[36]
3rd September 25, 2011 Spring 2012 2011–2012 TBA TBA

Worldwide release

Country Network Premiere Date
 United States Fox September 27, 2009
 Canada Global September 27, 2009
 Australia Network Ten
December 2, 2009–January 12, 2011
January 12, 2011–present
March 13, 2011–present
 United Kingdom
February 1, 2010 – present
January 6, 2011 – present
 Mexico FX Latin America April 25, 2010
 Brazil FX Latin America April 25, 2010
 Ireland 3e February 21, 2010
FOX Portugal June 5, 2010
 Denmark TV 2 Zulu June 23, 2010
 Israel Yes Comedy July 2, 2010
 Greece FX GR March 2010
 Hungary Comedy Central July 7, 2010
 Russia 2x2 September 2, 2010
 Italy FOX
September 7, 2010
 Spain FOX
July 19, 2010
 Norway TV2 August 13, 2010
 Netherlands Comedy Central September 12, 2010
 New Zealand C4
February 4, 2010
February 10, 2011
 Philippines Jack TV October 2010
 South Africa Vuzu November 29, 2010
 Uruguay Monte Carlo TV December 18, 2010
 Sweden Kanal 5 (Sweden) January 3, 2011
 Czech Republic Prima Cool February 5, 2011
 Poland FOX Poland February 16, 2011
 France France Ô April 8, 2011
 Estonia TV6 (Estonia) June 1, 2011
 Latvia TV6 Latvia December 1, 2010
 Palestinian territories FX July, 2011

DVD releases

DVD name Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season 1 (DVD & Blu-ray) September 28, 2010 October 11, 2010 June 29, 2011
Season 2 (DVD & Blu-ray) September 27, 2011 January 30, 2012[37] November 9, 2011


  1. ^ The Cleveland Show fact sheet at FoxFlash
  2. ^ Fox ANNOUNCES FALL PREMIERE DATES FOR THE 2009–2010 SEASON "FOX Announces Fall Premiere Dates for the 2009-2010 Season". Fox ANNOUNCES FALL PREMIERE DATES FOR THE 2009–2010 SEASON. 
  3. ^ a b Jason Hughes. "The Cleveland Show renewed before it begins". TV Squad. 
  5. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company: THE CLEVELAND SHOW
  6. ^ "MacFarlane reveals next season 'Family Guy' details". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  7. ^ "Baby Not On Board". Mark Hentemann (writer) & Julius Wu (director). Family Guy. Fox. September 1, 2008. No. 4, season 7.
  8. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (August 30, 2009). "Spinning Off Into Uncharted Cartoon Territory". New York Times. 
  9. ^ Michael Schnieder (July 13, 2008). "'Cleveland' finds a balance". Variety. Retrieved July 14, 2008. 
  10. ^ a b Eric Goldman (November 10, 2008). "The Cleveland Show: Update on Family Guy Spinoff". IGN. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  11. ^ FoxFlash image page
  12. ^ "Mike Henry: The Origins of Cleveland and Herbert". Retrieved April 16, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d "The Voices Behind 'Cleveland'". Entertainment Weekly.,,20309493,00.html. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  14. ^ Lynette Rice. "Fox orders full season of 'Family Guy' spin-off". EW. 
  15. ^ "Fox orders second full season of The Cleveland Show". 
  16. ^ "The Cleveland Show reviews at". Metacritic. Retrieved January 13, 2010. 
  17. ^ Shales, Tom (September 29, 2009). "Fox's 'Cleveland Show' Is a Cartoon Blight". The Washington Post (Katharine Weymouth). Retrieved January 13, 2010. 
  18. ^ Bianco, Roberto (September 25, 2009). "Embrace Fox's 'Brothers' but stay out of 'Cleveland'". USA Today (David Hunke). Retrieved January 13, 2010. 
  19. ^ McWhorter, John (October 13, 2009). "Just a Cartoon, But Still: Is Family Guy in Blackface Funny?". The New Republic (Elizabeth W. Sheldon). Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  20. ^ Owen, Rob (September 27, 2009). "Tuned In: At home with Cleveland". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (John Robinson Block). Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Family Guide to Prime Time Television — "The Cleveland Show"". Parents Television Council. July 9, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  22. ^ ""The Cleveland Show" on Fox". Worst TV Show of the Week. 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  23. ^ ""The Cleveland Show" on Fox". Worst TV Show of the Week. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  24. ^ ""The Cleveland Show" on Fox". Parents Television Council. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  25. ^ ""The Cleveland Show" on Fox". Parents Television Council. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  26. ^ ""The Cleveland Show" on Fox". Parents Television Council. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  27. ^ ""The Cleveland Show" on Fox". Parents Television Council. 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  28. ^ The Cleveland Show -
  29. ^ The Cleveland Show - 3e
  30. ^ Canal FX | Séries|Cleveland Show
  31. ^
  32. ^ Премьера: Шоу Кливленда - Официальный блог телеканала 2х2
  33. ^ Ночь анимации 2х2: Анимируй вместе с нами! - Официальный блог телеканала 2х2
  34. ^ Cast your votes now for People's Choice Awards 2011 -
  35. ^
  36. ^ a b c d "Series". Tvbythenumbers. Nielsen Business Media. May 26, 2006. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  37. ^

External links

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