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With American Dad having wrapped up Season 17 in September with its 300th episode – a time-warping follow-up entry in the Golden Turd Saga – fans are no doubt waiting to see what's coming next for the Smith family when Season 18 hits TBS in 2021. As all of that is coming together behind the scenes, co-creator and former showrunner Mike Barker is expanding his resume with a new animated project that's in development at Fox.
American Dad's Mike Barker, who has also written and produced episodes of Family Guy, seeks to continue his relationship with Fox in a big way with the new animated comedy Greater Good. The project is being co-developed by Stoney Sharp, a comedy director whose roots in Cinematic Titanic and the UCB Comedy circuit led to dozens of episodes of Scott Aukerman's randomly splendid IFC series Comedy Bang! Bang!, so his involvement should add some wackiness to the main narrative. The pair will serve as both writers and executive producers on the project, which Deadline reports is being developed fully internally within Fox Entertainment.
Speaking of the narrative, Greater Good is a workplace comedy that seeks to address answering the question "is this world worth saving?" Though obviously from a comedic standpoint as opposed to something entirely philosophical. As far as the characters go, Greater Good focuses on a high-tech laboratory somewhat oxymoronically located in a most rural section of Oklahoma. Within the lab works an international team of scientists who see far better at theoretical experiments than socially relevant behavior, and this team must suffer through office politics and difficult inner-office relationships, because the fate of the world is at stake! It's not made clear how, or why, but it's the whole world, man!
Considering it's a workplace comedy that deals with the goods and bads of the human race, it almost sounds like Greater Good could work as a spinoff of The Good Place, which itself was co-created by Mike Schur, of The Office and Parks and Recreation. How is he not attached to this thing?
Greater Good has currently reached script-order status at Fox, so it's hard to tell when any good news or bad news will come down the ladder. In the meantime, Fox already has its animated comedy slate in full gear on Sunday nights, since animated shows were able to adjust their production schedules far more easily than live-action series. Fox is far from the only network that has recently put more effort into securing animated projects for the future, just in case any other pandemic-related lockdowns are coming down the line.
At this point in his career, Mike Barker is no longer part of the American Dad team. After co-creating the show with Seth MacFarlane and Matt Weitzman, Barker served as a co-showrunner through some of those earlier politically motivated seasons, but he ended up leaving the show after Season 10 both in a creative capacity and as the voice of news anchor Terry Bates. That marked a pretty notable difference in the show for fans who pay attention to such things, and Barker's return to primetime would be welcomed by many if Fox decides to move forward with Greater Good.