The Cleveland Show

The Cleveland Show
Genre Animated sitcom
Created by Seth MacFarlane
Richard Appel
Mike Henry
Voices of Mike Henry
Sanaa Lathan
Kevin Michael Richardson
Reagan Gomez-Preston
Jason Sudeikis
Seth MacFarlane
Theme music composer Walter Murphy
Composer(s) Walter Murphy
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 88 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Seth MacFarlane
Richard Appel
Mike Henry
Producer(s) Kara Vallow
Courtney Lilly
Editor(s) Kirk Benson
Camera setup Animated rendition of single camera
Running time 21–22 minutes
Production company(s) Person Unknown Productions
Happy Jack Productions
Fuzzy Door Productions
Fox Television Animation
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original network Fox
Picture format 720p (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release September 27, 2009 (2009-09-27) – May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19)
Related shows Family Guy

The Cleveland Show is an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane, Richard Appel, and Mike Henry for the Fox Broadcasting Company as a spin-off of Family Guy. The series centers on the Browns and Tubbs, two dysfunctional families consisting of parents Cleveland Brown and Donna Tubbs and their children Cleveland Brown, Jr., Roberta Tubbs, and Rallo Tubbs. Similar to Family Guy, it exhibits much of its humor in the form of cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture.

The series was conceived by MacFarlane in 2007 after developing the two animated series Family Guy and American Dad! for the Fox Network. MacFarlane centered the show on Family Guy character Cleveland Brown, his new wife Donna Tubbs, his step-children Rallo and Roberta Tubbs, and his son Cleveland, Jr., who, in the show, is depicted as an obese, soft-spoken teen, as opposed to his depiction as a younger, hyperactive child with average body weight on Family Guy.

The series originally aired from September 27, 2009, to May 19, 2013, for a total of four seasons and 88 episodes. The Cleveland Show was nominated for one Annie Award, one Primetime Emmy Award, and two Teen Choice Awards, but received mixed reviews from media critics. The Cleveland Show holds a TV-14 rating. The series was canceled after its fourth season.[1] Cleveland has since returned to Family Guy, accompanied by the rest of the Brown-Tubbs family, as of the twelfth season episode "He's Bla-ack!".



Seth MacFarlane initially conceived The Cleveland Show in 2007 while working on his other two animated series, Family Guy and American Dad![2][3]

The Cleveland Show first appeared on the development slate at Fox in early 2008, under no official name for the pilot, after a report that Fox had purchased the series from creators.[4] On May 5, 2008, MacFarlane and 20th Century Fox Television inked a deal.[5] The pilot was named The Cleveland Show in May 2008, when it appeared on the primetime slate for the 2008–09 television season, although it wasn't officially on the network schedule.[6] Shortly after a report that King of the Hill just ended, leaving air time for The Cleveland Show, the show was picked up for a full season after an additional nine episodes of the show were ordered.[7] In May 2009, The Cleveland Show appeared on the primetime slate for the 2009–10 television season, for airing on Sunday nights at 8:30 pm[8] On June 15, 2009, it was announced that The Cleveland Show would premiere on September 27, 2009.[9]

MacFarlane and Henry pitched a 22-minute pilot to Fox which aired on September 27, 2009, but had been leaked on the internet in June 2009. Even before the pilot episode premiered, the show had already been renewed for a 22-episode second season. After the first season of the show aired, it was given the green light to start production. On June 10, 2010, less than three weeks into the first season's summer hiatus, it was announced that Fox was ordering a third season.[10] A fourth season was announced on May 9, 2011, just a few days before the second season concluded.

Executive producers

Seth MacFarlane, Mike Henry and Richard Appel served as executive producers on the series since the first season.[11]

Voice cast

Mike Henry voices two of the show's main characters: Cleveland Brown and Rallo Tubbs. The voice of Cleveland was developed originally for Family Guy by Henry after being influenced by one of his best friends who had a very distinct regional accent.[12] For the voice of Rallo, Henry has stated that he had originally created the voice over twenty years ago, when he had made a series of prank calls.

Sanaa Lathan voices Donna Tubbs, the wife of Cleveland. In developing the character, Lathan said that the producers "wanted her to be educated, but to have some edge."[13] Prior to voicing Donna, Lathan had only one other voice credit in a relatively low-budget film entitled The Golden Blaze. In addition to the show, she also primarily worked as an actress in such films as Alien vs. Predator, Love & Basketball and The Family That Preys.

Reagan Gomez-Preston plays Roberta Tubbs, the stepdaughter of Cleveland. Gomez has stated that she uses her own voice to portray Roberta, and that she herself gets mistaken for a fifteen-year-old over the phone "all the time."[13] Before Gomez was cast as Roberta, Nia Long had provided the character's voice during the first production season. According to Long, she was replaced because producers decided they wanted an actress with a younger-sounding voice, given that the character is a teenager.[14]

Kevin Michael Richardson, a recurring guest voice on Family Guy and American Dad, portrays Cleveland, Jr., as well as Cleveland's next door neighbor Lester Krinklesac. In portraying Cleveland, Jr., Richardson drew inspiration from a character named Patrick that he had played on the NBC drama series ER who was mentally impaired and wore a football helmet. For Lester, Richardson stated in an interview that, being African American, he had "run into a few rednecks in [his] time," and decided to simply perform a stereotypical redneck impression for the voice of Lester.[13]

Jason Sudeikis plays Holt Richter, one of Cleveland's drinking buddies with a short stature, and Terry Kimple, one of Cleveland's longtime friends who now works with him at Waterman Cable. Sudeikis originally began as a recurring cast member, but starting with the episode "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner", he was promoted to a series regular.

Seth MacFarlane played Tim the Bear up until season 3 episode 10, which MacFarlane admits is a "Steve Martin impression [...] a Wild and Crazy Guy impression". Jess Harnell voices Tim from season 3 episode 11 onwards.

Other voices include that of Arianna Huffington as Tim's wife Arianna the Bear, Nat Faxon as Tim and Arianna's son Raymond the Bear, Jamie Kennedy as Roberta's boyfriend Gabriel Friedman, a.k.a. "Federline Jones", Will Forte as Principal Wally, Frances Callier as Evelyn "Cookie" Brown, Craig Robinson as LeVar "Freight Train" Brown and David Lynch as Gus the bartender.

Main cast members
Mike Henry Sanaa Lathan Reagan Gomez-Preston Kevin Michael Richardson Jason Sudeikis Seth MacFarlane
Cleveland Brown, Rallo Tubbs Donna Tubbs Roberta Tubbs Cleveland Brown, Jr. and Lester Krinklesac Holt Richter
and Terry Kimple
Tim the Bear


The Brown-Tubbs family. Clockwise from top left: Cleveland, Donna, Roberta, Rallo, and Cleveland, Jr..

Cleveland's newly introduced family includes his new wife in her early forties, Donna Tubbs Brown (voiced by Sanaa Lathan);[15] Donna's teenage daughter Roberta (originally voiced by Nia Long, but later voiced by Reagan Gomez-Preston); and Donna's five-year-old son Rallo (also voiced by Mike Henry).[16][17] Cleveland, Jr. underwent a complete redesign for the show, becoming sensitive and soft-spoken.


Season Episodes Originally aired Time slot TV season Rank Viewers
First aired Last aired
1 21 September 27, 2009 (2009-09-27) May 23, 2010 (2010-05-23) Sunday at 8:30 pm 2009–10 No. 72[18] 6.38[18]
2 22 September 26, 2010 (2010-09-26) May 15, 2011 (2011-05-15) Sunday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 1-8)
Sunday at 9:00 pm (Episode 9)
Sunday at 9:30 pm (Episodes 10-22)
2010–11 No. 90[19] 6.12[19]
3 22 September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) May 20, 2012 (2012-05-20) Sunday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 1-2, 7-8)
Sunday at 9:30 pm (Episodes 3, 6, 17, 19)
Sunday at 7:30 pm (Episodes 4-5, 9-16, 18, 20-22)
2011–12 No. 144[20] 4.03[20]
4 23 October 7, 2012 (2012-10-07) May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19) Sunday at 7:30 pm (Episodes 1-3, 5-11, 12, 14, 17-19, 21, 23)
Sunday at 9:30 pm (Episodes 4, 16)
Sunday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 12-13, 15)
Sunday at 7:00 pm (Episodes 20, 22)
2012–13 N/A 3.05[21]

Crossovers with other animated sitcoms

The Cleveland Show characters have appeared on other animated sitcoms and vice versa. The Cleveland Show crossovers have all involved two other animated programs. Both the other two animated programs were also created by Seth MacFarlane: Family Guy and American Dad!

There are also many brief cameos of characters from other Fox animated series, The Simpsons, and King of the Hill.



In July 2010, the Turner Broadcasting System picked up syndication rights, for their networks TBS and Adult Swim.[22] The series first aired in syndication on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network in the United States on September 29, 2012. In Canada, MuchMusic ran previews of the show on September 2, 2013, followed by its official debut on the next day.


On April 17, 2013, Fox dismissed increasing rumors that The Cleveland Show had been cancelled, reporting rather that renewal of the series was undetermined as of that time.[23][24] However, on May 13, in the NY Daily News, Fox Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly confirmed its cancellation.[1] Following the series cancellation, it was confirmed that Cleveland and the Brown family would be moving back to Quahog to rejoin the Family Guy cast.[25]

International broadcast

Country Network Premiere date
Canada Global
September 27, 2009
September 3, 2013
Australia Network Ten
December 2, 2009 – January 12, 2011
January 12, 2011 – 2014
March 13, 2011 – present
Germany Comedy Central August 7, 2016 – present
Lithuania TV6 – present (Klyvlando Šou)
Ireland 3e 2009
United Kingdom E4
February 1, 2010 – Autumn 2015[26]
January 6, 2011 – Present
2016–Present [26]
United States Fox
Adult Swim
September 27, 2009 – May 19, 2013
September 29, 2012 – present
September 16, 2013 – present
Hungary Comedy Central July 6, 2010 – present
Middle East FX Unknown
New Zealand C4
Comedy Central
February 10, 2011 – present
Pakistan FX Unknown
Philippines Jack TV
Fox Philippines
October 2010 - Present (Rerun)
March 2013 - Present (Rerun)
South Africa Vuzu November 29, 2010
Singapore Fox April 2, 2012 (Season 2)
(Mondays to Wednesdays 11:40 pm (UTC+8))


Critical reception

The Cleveland Show has received mixed reviews. Review aggregator Metacritic gave the show a score of 57 out of 100.[27] Tom Shales of The Washington Post spoke very negatively about both the show and MacFarlane himself, describing him as "no better than the dirty old man hanging around playgrounds with naughty pictures or risque jokes as lures".[28] Roberto Bianco of USA Today wrote a similarly negative review, suggesting that the easiest fix for its problem was "cancellation".[29] John McWhorter of The New Republic called it "a patronizing mess" and "basically Family Guy in blackface". He added: "What isn't black in it is so shamelessly ripped off from Family Guy that it's hard to believe it's the product of creators who are usually so studiously 'post-' obvious stunts of the sort."[30] Matt Rouse of TV Guide wrote, "The lamest, most unnecessary spin-off since Private Practice, Cleveland rests on the shoulders of the hopelessly bland title character".[31] However, Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was more positive about the program, writing that although The Cleveland Show was "just as rude-crude" as Family Guy, it also had "more warmth" due to Cleveland being a more likeable character than Peter Griffin. Owen also praised the character of Tim the Bear, stating that "Tim is by far the most amusing creation."[32]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
2010 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Animated Show The Cleveland Show Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Comedy The Cleveland Show Nominated
2011 Annie Awards Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program "Murray Christmas" Nominated
NAMIC Vision Awards Animation The Cleveland Show Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Animated Show The Cleveland Show Nominated
2012 Artios Award Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Animation Robert McGee and Ruth Lambert Nominated
2013 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards Top Television Series The Cleveland Show Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Show The Cleveland Show Nominated

Home media

DVD releases

DVD Title # of Disc(s) Year # of Episodes DVD release
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season One 4 2009 & 2010 21 September 28, 2010[33] October 11, 2010[34] June 29, 2011[35]
Season Two 4 2010 & 2011 22 September 27, 2011[36] January 30, 2012[37] November 2, 2011[38]
Season Three 3 2011 & 2012 22 March 1, 2013[39]
(manufactured on demand (MOD) on DVD-R)
Season Four 3 2012 & 2013 23 December 17, 2013[40]
(manufactured on demand (MOD) on DVD-R)


  1. 1 2 Hinckley, David (May 13, 2013). "Fox announces 2013-14 fall schedule, which includes return of Kiefer Sutherland's '24'". NY Daily News. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
  2. Breaking News – FOX Announces Fall Premiere Dates for the 2009–2010 Season. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  3. Fox Primetime. Fox Flash (September 27, 2009). Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  4. Breaking News – Development Update: February 29 – March 4. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  5. Breaking News – Development Update: Monday, May 5. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  6. Breaking News – FOX Announces Primetime Slate for 2008–2009 Season. (May 15, 2008). Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  7. Breaking News – OH... Hey, Y'All! FOX Orders Full Season of "The Cleveland Show". Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  8. Breaking News – FOX Announces Primetime Slate for 2009–2010 Season. (May 18, 2009). Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  9. Breaking News – FOX Announces Fall Premiere Dates for the 2009–2010 Season. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  10. Breaking News – FOX Picks Up Third Season of "The Cleveland Show". Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  11. Breaking News – Development Update: Monday, May 4. (May 4, 2009). Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  12. "Mike Henry: The Origins of Cleveland and Herbert". Retrieved April 16, 2009.
  13. 1 2 3 "The Voices Behind 'Cleveland'". Entertainment Weekly. October 2, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  14. Morales, Wilson. "Good Hair: An Interview With Nia Long". Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  15. Schnieder, Michael (July 13, 2008). "'Cleveland' finds a balance". Variety. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  16. Goldman, Eric (November 10, 2008). "The Cleveland Show: Update on Family Guy Spinoff". IGN. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  17. FoxFlash image page. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  18. 1 2 Gorman, Bill (June 16, 2010). "Final 2009–10 Broadcast Primetime Show Average Viewership". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
  19. 1 2 Gorman, Bill (June 1, 2011). "2010–11 Season Broadcast Primetime Show Viewership Averages". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  20. 1 2 Gorman, Bill (May 24, 2012). "Complete List of 2011-12 Season TV Show Viewership: 'Sunday Night Football' Tops, Followed By 'American Idol,' 'NCIS' & 'Dancing With The Stars' - Ratings". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  21. Andreeva, Nellie (2011-05-27). "Full 2012–2013 TV Season Series Rankings". Deadline. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  22. Adult Swim, TBS Acquire Syndicated Rights To ‘The Cleveland Show’ For Fall 2013 – Ratings | TVbytheNumbers. (July 6, 2010). Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  23. Bierly, Mandi (2013-01-22). "'Cleveland Show' may be cancelled | Inside TV |". Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  24. "Fox: No Decision Yet on Fate of 'Cleveland Show'". 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  25. "Seth Mcfarlane Confirms Return of Cleveland To Family Guy".
  26. 1 2 Munn, Patrick (March 23, 2015). "ITV2 Agrees Fox Deal For Seth MacFarlane's Animated Series; Takes Exclusive Rights to 'Family Guy' & 'Bordertown'". Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  27. "The Cleveland Show reviews at". Metacritic. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
  28. Shales, Tom (September 29, 2009). "Fox's 'Cleveland Show' Is a Cartoon Blight". The Washington Post. Katharine Weymouth. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  29. Bianco, Roberto (September 25, 2009). "Embrace Fox's 'Brothers' but stay out of 'Cleveland'". USA Today. David Hunke. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  30. McWhorter, John (October 13, 2009). "Just a Cartoon, But Still: Is Family Guy in Blackface Funny?". The New Republic. Elizabeth W. Sheldon. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  31. TV Guide September 7.13. 2009 pg. 60.
  32. Owen, Rob (September 27, 2009). "Tuned In: At home with Cleveland". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. John Robinson Block. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  33. "The Cleveland Show: The Complete Season One: Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  34. "The Cleveland Show – Season 1 [DVD]: Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan, Kevin Michael Richardson: Film & TV". Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  35. "Cleveland Show, The: Season 1 | DVD Movies & TV Shows, Genres, Comedy : JB HI-FI". 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  36. "The Cleveland Show: The Complete Season Two: Cleveland Show: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  37. "The Cleveland Show – Season 2 [DVD] [NTSC]: Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan, Kevin Michael Richardson, Reagan Gomez, Seth MacFarlane: Film & TV". Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  38. "Cleveland Show, The – Season 2 | DVD Movies & TV Shows, Genres, Comedy : JB HI-FI". Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  39. "The Cleveland Show Season 3: Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan, Kevin Michael Richardson, Regan Gomez, Jason Sudeikis, Seth MacFarlane, Richard Appel: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  40. Lambert, David (December 19, 2013). "The Cleveland Show - 'The Complete Season 4' - The Show's Last - Is Now On DVD!".

External links

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