Seth MacFarlane may be an Oscar-hosting, hit-movie–making Hollywood player now, but back when Family Guy first premiered on Fox in 1999, he was just some schmuck with an idea for a dysfunctional-family animated series. Though the bawdy series debuted strong after Super Bowl XXXIII, its ratings plummeted, and it was eventually canceled not once but twice: first after the second season ended in 2000, and again in 2002 after a third season aired. That could have been it for MacFarlane, were it not for the one-two punch of Adult Swim (where the series found a supportive home in syndication) and the cult success of the first season, which became the best-selling TV DVD of 2003. Fox execs took notice, and renewed the series for good in 2004. Now, a decade later, it remains one of the network’s top shows, and MacFarlane has a string of pop-culture successes — including the 2012 comedy Ted, and the long-running American Dad and The Cleveland Show — under his belt.