The character will appear on the show’s December 15th episode, though how and why he will return remains a mystery, Entertainment Weekly reports. The character was run over by a car in the November 24th episode and even though his human friend, the talking baby Stewie Griffin, tried to rebuild a broken time machine to save the dog, he was unable.
The official synopsis of the episode on the 15th, titled “Christmas Guy,” says, “Stewie devises a master plan to get the one and only thing he wants for Christmas.” The network reportedly declined to comment on Brian’s possible return, but it seems imminent; according to executive producer Steve Callaghan, Brian is scheduled to have a romantic interest soon, voiced by Maya Rudolph. “After Brian experiences the ‘runner’s high,’ he becomes a distance-running douche, and even signs himself up to run a marathon,” Callaghan told Entertainment Weekly in late October.
In another interview, Callaghan addressed why the show decided to kill off the family dog. “We thought it could be a fun way to shake things up,” he told E! “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.”
Following Brian’s death, the Griffin family bought a new dog named, Vinny, who is voiced by Sopranos actor Tony Sirico. But even with a replacement dog, rumors have persisted that Brian would return. Sirico is booked for only six episodes; meanwhile Brian’s name is in the titles of two future episodes of the series. Meanwhile, fans have gathered together online to demand Brian’s return: one petition demanding it has attracted nearly 130,000 signatures to date, while another – linked from the fan site BriansAnnouncement.com – claims to have attracted 1.5 million through shares and tweets of the hashtag “#savebrian.”