Family Guy fans, it looks like your new friend Vinny’s going to be around for a while. The revamped opening credit sequence for the series shows the recent addition to the family taking the late Brian Griffin’s place in the traditional song-and-dance routine.
The Fox show killed off Brian in its November 24th episode, “Life of Brian,” crushing the family’s long-suffering pet beneath a car. Peter Griffin managed to find a new talking dog at the pet store and brought home Vinny, voiced by The Sopranos‘ Tony Sirico. Vinny’s tough Jersey demeanor stands in marked contrast to the erudite Brian.
“Where Brian was sort of a match for Stewie intellectually, Vinny is a good match for Stewie because he doesn’t let Stewie get away with any crap,” the show’s executive producer, Steve Callaghan, told E! last month. “He’ll call Stewie out on his B.S. freely.” New episodes show the dog beginning to assert an influence on Stewie.
Whether Vinny’s promotion to the opening credits signals a permanent role for the canine remains unclear. Entertainment Weekly reports that there’s still more in store for Brian, including his return in the December 15th Christmas episode.