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'Sherlock Holmes' to help out Fox's 'Family Guy'-Seth MacFarlane special

October 31, 2009 |  5:07 pm

Less than a week after Microsoft bailed out of being the exclusive sponsor for Fox's upcoming special "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show" over concerns about content, it looks like Warner Bros. has stepped up to the plate, planning to use the special to promote its Christmas release of "Sherlock Holmes" starring Robert Downey Jr.

A commercial in Fox's pregame broadcast before Game 3 of the World Series told viewers to tune in to the Nov. 8 special for a sneak peek of the movie.

SETHALEX The special features "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane and voice actress Alex Borstein in a variety of sketches, many of which incorporated plugs for Microsoft's Windows 7.

But the software giant, which worked closely with MacFarlane on the special, pulled out after the taping. Many of the bits featured MacFarlane's trademark raunchiness and tone, with jokes about deaf people, hygiene and the Holocaust.

A bit about Miley Cyrus may have been the one that sent Microsoft running for the exit, according to people close to the special. That particular bit, which featured MacFarlane and Borstein as household workers for Cyrus talking about the teen star and her relationship with her father, is not expected to make the final cut.

Microsoft, which has spent close to $5 million on commercials in "Family Guy" both on Fox and on TBS and Cartoon Network, which carry reruns of the show, said the material in the special "was not a fit" with the Windows brand.

Whether the special will feature promotions exclusively for "Sherlock Holmes" remains to be seen, but the movie certainly will have a prominent spot in the program.

-- Joe Flint 

Photo: Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox

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