Seth MacFarlane can do no wrong in the eyes of Fox. His juggernaut, Family Guy, leads the Sunday night lineup (sorry, The Simpsons has been watered down for quite some time) and American Dad is a strong supporting show. MacFarlane's Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show finished with 88 episodes and now Dads recently got the green light to return.
Dads hasn't been well received by some, citing racist and low-brow jokes. Had this been anybody else's show, it would be dead. Another casualty, maybe even a mid-season cancellation. But because MacFarlane is the mastermind behind Dads, Fox gives it life.
Perhaps Fox thinks it will catch on the same way Family Guy did. Look, the power of MacFarlane is undeniable. He turned water into wine with Ted, a movie about a lovable, foul-mouthed teddy bear. A talking bear was a unique idea and all of MacFarlane’s animated shows had that niche working in their favor.
Dads has no such element. Seth Green is the face of the show, but honestly, as a physical actor, Green hasn't had real success since playing Oz in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He has had guest appearances, but only for a few episodes (dude was a punk on Entourage). Green is a tremendous voice actor and has a ton of work to his credit. The microphone is his bread and butter; otherwise audiences end up with Greg the Bunny. Remember that show? Right, nobody does.
Fox must be hoping against hope that Dads emulates the Family Guy formula. Remember, Family Guy got axed then resurrected; not too many shows can make that claim. But it also had a strong following, something that Dads clearly does not.