Confirmed: ITV2 steals Family Guy from BBC Three in Seth MacFarlane deal

Channel will also air new episodes of American Dad! and upcoming comedy Bordertown

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ITV has confirmed that it has poached the rights to Family Guy and American Dad! from BBC Three, in a deal that will see ITV2 become the new UK home of Seth MacFarlane's animated shows.

Brand new episodes of Family Guy will appear on the youth-skewing channel from this autumn after it acquired exclusive first-run rights to future seasons.

It will also air both new and existing episodes of American Dad!, as well as repeats of axed series The Cleveland Show, which previously aired on E4.

As part of the extensive agreement with Twentieth Century Fox, ITV2 will additionally screen the UK premiere of MacFarlane's new animated comedy Bordertown.

Due to debut on US broadcaster FOX this Spring, it follows the intertwining lives of Border Patrol agent Bud Buckwald - who feels threatened by cultural changes in his town near the Mexican border - and immigrant Ernesto Gonzales.

ITV's director of television Peter Fincham commented: "Seth MacFarlane's shows have firmly established him as the comedy voice of choice for an entire generation.

"Seth is sharp, irreverent and brilliantly funny which is reflected in his fantastic shows.  We are delighted to be welcoming him and his comic creations to ITV."

ITV's director of digital channels and acquisitions Angela Jain added: "Family Guy is satire with nothing off limits - it's like spending half an hour with the funniest guy in the room and watching him freestyle.

"It is a joy to announce to all Seth MacFarlane fans that the new series premiere will be on ITV2 from this Autumn. The acquisition of these brilliant and distinctive shows is totally in line with the strategy of strengthening ITV2 as a comprehensive entertainment channel destination for young viewers."

Rumours that ITV had bought Family Guy first surfaced around a month ago, when a staff member tweeted a picture of a lift at its London headquarters bearing a poster of the Griffin family.

Today's announcement will come as a blow to campaigners hoping to save BBC Three, which has now lost new episodes of its most popular programme as bosses wait for permission to close it down as a TV channel and move it online only.

However, it is thought that the BBC will retain repeat rights to old Family Guy episodes for two more years, as it previously claimed it would air the show until 2017.

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