Family Guy S11E2 Script

Ratings Guy (2012)

♪ It seems today that all you see ♪

♪ Is violence in movies and sex on TV ♪

♪ But where are those good old-fashioned values ♪

♪ On which we used to rely? ♪

♪ Lucky there's a family guy ♪

♪ Lucky there's a man who positively can do ♪

♪ All the things that make us ♪

♪ Laugh and cry ♪

♪ He's... a... Fam... ily... Guy! ♪

Oh, Stewie, how exciting!

Your first visit to a real fire station!

Yeah, you kids always loved your first trip to the fire station.

You remember when we took Meg?

Welcome to the Quahog Fire Department, folks.

I'm Captain Beckman.

Let me know if you have any questions that I can answer for you.

JOE: What's up, nerds?

You waiting for some guy to fall asleep with a cigarette?

Lazy fire turds!

Have another donut, pig!

We got guns! You got hoses!

See you on the softball field!

Over here is our kitchen, where we make all our meals.

And upstairs is where we sleep.

What about your wives and families?

Sometimes we don't see them for long periods of time.

Well, that sounds awfully lonely.

Like being an NBA player on the road.

Baby, I miss my wife so much.

Thanks for understanding that we can't do anything.

I just want to cuddle.

Oh, you're so sweet.

I'm just doing what a man should do.

Respecting the sacred institution of marriage.

And now, straight to sleep.

ANNOUNCER: This message brought to you by the NBA.

Let's all pretend this happens.

Hey, Chris, you think it's safe to drink from a fire hose?

Why not, Dad? It's just water.

All right, well, turn it on. I'm very thirsty.

Nice job, Chris.

You got my shirt wet.

Now, few people realize that until 1928 there were no hoses, and you actually had to fight fires with your bare hands.

I will now give a demonstration.


Whoa, scrappy little blaze, huh?

Oh, my God, the fire's got a gun!

What the (bleep) was that?

(making driving noises)

Come on, Stewie. We're going.

Just a moment, Brian.

I'm pretending I'm a fireman.

I love playing pretend.

My name's Peter and I work in the brewery.

Now I'm gonna put on my pants and go talk to my coworkers at...

These pants have stool in them.

Well, I hope everyone had a fun afternoon at the firehouse.

I sure did, Mom!

I can't wait for the next family outing!

Aw, thanks, Mike.

I hate fire stations.

(man's voice): No problem, man. (sniffing)

Is that alcohol on your breath?

Yeah, maybe.

You're playing this too fast and loose, Mike!

Ooh, ooh, is that the mail?

Yeah. Is there anything in there for me?

I want to see if there's a response to all those fan letters I've been writing.

PETER: Dear Cary Elwes, I have been meaning to contact you for some time.

I have never been able to figure out if you are famous.

You were a big deal in one thing, but you were wearing a mask for most of it.

Do you consider your career a disappointment?

Or rather, did you exceed your own expectations?

Yours truly, Peter Griffin.

P.S. You were in Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

Did you know that?

Hey, there's something here from the Nielsen Company.

"Dear Griffin family, "You have been specially selected from amongst millions

"of American households to be a Nielsen family, "and as such, to have your TV viewing habits monitored in order to measure television ratings."

Oh, kids, this came all the way from Delaware.

What does all that mean?

Well, Meg, it sounds like they want us to be part of a select group of people that helps determine what's on TV.

We're gonna be a Nielsen family?

That's awesome!

(somber, sad music plays)

I think... uh...

I think that's the wrong music.

(victorious fanfare plays)

There you go.

Now, this Nielsen box will keep track of everything you watch, which helps us generalize the viewing habits of millions of Americans.

Ah, yes.

And what was that beginning, middle and end part again?

Um... this Nielsen box will keep track of everything you watch, which helps us generalize the viewing habits of millions of Americans.

Is there any way you can describe that to me using colorful puppets of some sort?

The Nielsen box will monitor your viewing habits!

(scratchy laugh)

I don't like the left puppet. His chin is scary.

Well, thanks for your cooperation.

If you have any questions, please call me.

And welcome to the Nielsen family.

Thank you very much.

Well, isn't this exciting.

I know, I can't believe we're a Nielsen family!

I never get picked for anything.

(people screaming)

All right, everyone.

Time to do our Nielsen duty.

So, what are we gonna watch?

Boobs! Project Runway!

The Good Wife! That black version of our show!

You know, guys, this is a real opportunity to promote quality programming.

I think we should watch PBS.

Yeah, you're real passionate about PBS.

You donated once five years ago and they sent you a mug.

And now the mug's so old that the "P" has been worn off so it just says "B.S."

It's libtards like you that are screwing up our country.

(knock at door)

Tom Tucker? What are you doing here?

Well, I heard you're the new Nielsen family.

Just hoping you plan to watch the Channel Five News.

I don't know. I've missed so many.

It's gonna take me forever to catch up.

Well, we'd sure love to have you as a viewer.

Is there anything we can do to make the news more appealing to you?


I guess you could lose the moustache.

Lose my moustache?

Well, gosh, I... I don't know.

My birthmark makes it kind of tough.

Always caused me problems at my old job.

And that'll do it for us here at Channel 12 News.

Make sure you turn those clocks ahead.

Good night, St. Louis.

Yeah, I don't know, I was never that crazy about the moustache.

Well, I suppose I could lose it and just use more makeup.

Yeah, that'd be cool.

And maybe a festive hat would make things more festive.

All right, this is good. Any other suggestions?

Yeah, can you end each show by trying to pull-start a very cold chain saw?

Well, that shouldn't be a problem.

All right, thank you for being so candid.

Hey, thanks for listening.

I know how hard it is to take criticism.

Hey, nice boots, Griffin.

They sell men's shoes where you got those?

PETER: You made a commitment to these boots, Peter.

These boots are the new you, and no one will shake that.

Yee-haw, ride 'em, cowgirl!

PETER: Okay, you can take the boots off at lunch.

Go to the gym. Have a workout.

Come back in your sneakers.

If anyone asks, you forgot the boots in your locker.

Just make it to lunch.

Those boots are made for walkin'.

Up to guys' butts.


Hey, fellas. Hey.

TOM TUCKER: Good evening, Quahog.

Tonight, Channel Five mourns the loss of a dear colleague.

My moustache.

And as per the wishes of my moustache, his ashes were sprinkled off the coast of Acapulco where he was born.

Well, that'll do it for us here.

Thanks for watching Channel Five, the most trusted name in news.

Ah, crap.

Oh, come on.

Let's go, Tom.

Work, damn it!

What the hell?

What's going on with the news?

This is terrible! Yeah, has he lost his mind?

Well, I'll be damned.

If I knew he was gonna do all that stuff I told him, I would've told him more stuff.


Peter, you told him to do this crap?

Yeah, he came to my house when he found out I was a Nielsen family, asked what I wanted to see.

Hey, hey, you know what would be cool?

If he did the news with a family of prairie dogs, and whenever he said something sad, they'd pop their heads up, all concerned.

Peter, you sure that's such a good idea?

People rely on the local news to provide them with several stories a year on how saltwater taffy is made.

Yeah, if you're a Nielsen family, it seems like you should maybe be a little more thoughtful with your choices.

What are you talking about?

I'm just having a little fun.

For God's sakes, I've just been handed the coolest freaking toy on the planet.

Well, you know, except for Hungry Hungry Alec Baldwins.

Hey, I'm not... I'm not even touching the lever.

Chilling news from Long Island Sound, as a four-passenger prop plane on its way to East Hampton spun into the surf off Montauk Point.

There were no survivors.

Oh, that's so great, I just called him on the way home!

Peter, I'm not sure this is entirely responsible.

I don't see what the big deal is.

I was just trying to make the show better.

Hell, I wish I could do it with all the shows.

Yeah, well, you only have one Nielsen box.

You don't have the clout to affect national shows.

Damn it.

I guess that means I'll never get to see an episode of Superman where Clark Kent and Lois Lane finally get together.

Lois, I love you, and I want there to be no more secrets between us.

I am Superman.

Oh, my God.

The only thing that can kill me is kryptonite.

Or latex.

Or lambskin.

What about polyurethane? All that.

All that stuff.

(knock at door)

Hi, folks.

Just thought I'd stop by and make sure your equipment is working properly and see if you have any questions.

Yeah, is something wrong with our remote?

No matter how low I turn the volume, Aziz Ansari is always shouting at me.

What did I do?

Thank you. I think we're good.

Everything seems to be going well.

Okay, great.

Well, I'm just gonna change out the card on your unit real quick and I'll be on my way.

Well, we're all set.

Thanks for your time.

No, thank you, pal.

And hey, you've been working hard.

Why don't you take the rest of the day off?

Here's two tickets to Sandra Bernhard's one-woman show.

Wow, thanks!

Yeah, and they're great seats.

They're right in the gap of her teeth.

Social media?

More like a social disease.

(audience laughs)

Ha! That's funny!

Peter, what the hell's going on here?

Lois, we're no longer one Nielsen family.

We're 100.

More boxes, more power.

And I got some ideas to make TV better.

(phone rings)

Hello, Mad Men production office.

Yeah, Peter Griffin here.

Could I speak with Jon Hamm, please?

One moment.

(phone rings)

Hello? Hello, Jon Hamm?

Peter Griffin, Nielsen family.

Listen, did I catch you at a good time, or are you and the critics busy sucking each other's butts?

Excuse me?

Look, your show is really boring.

But don't worry, I got some ideas on how you can jazz it up.

Listen, I don't need your suggestions, pal.

I've been a big celebrity for a year and a half now.

Okay, if that's how you're gonna be.

We'll see how this plays out.

Lois, we're not watching Mad Men no more.

(phone ringing)


Look, I may have been a little rash.

Our ratings have dropped 50%.

Whatever suggestions you have, I'll listen.

And so, gentlemen, in baseball, three strikes and you're out.

But three Lucky Strikes... and you're in.

Nice try, Don.

But I'm afraid we're going to have to take our business elsewhere.

Oh? don't think so.

(playing Star Wars theme)

What the hell was that?

I'll tell you what it was, Lois.

It was awesome.

And wait'll you see Breaking Bad.

I don't know what it was, but now it's on roller skates.

Hi, NBC, this is Peter Griffin.

Listen, you guys are doing a great job.

If anybody knows what America wants in the '90s, it's NBC.

But I just have one small request:

I like Dateline, but I really hate waiting two hours to find out who the killer is.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight on Dateline, a woman murdered.

Was it her ex-boyfriend?

Yes, it was.

I knew it.

I knew it was the ex-boyfriend.

"Sleep tight, truck.

"Sleep tight, firefly.

"Sleep tight, chair.

Sleep tight, bird."

You see that, Peter?

You see the bird?


Okay, we'll, uh, pick up the rest tomorrow.

Uh, now, I'm just gonna vamp for a while with some random noises.


Heya, heya, heya.

(grumbling, groaning)

Uh-heh, uh-heh...


Okay, good night, Peter.

Good night, Dave.

LETTERMAN: And, uh, here's Paul to play you to sleep with a lullaby.

PAUL (off-key): ♪ Hey, lullaby... ♪

♪ Oh, lullaby ♪

♪ Hey, you, lullaby... ♪ Stop, no, stop.


I forgot, he's terrible.

TV ANNOUNCER: We now return to Cops With Banana Guns.


Is that... is that a banana?

Don't worry about what it is.

I'm still a cop.

Whoa, hold on.

All-All right, just... just take it easy.

This can go a couple of ways.

What the hell did Peter do to Cops?!

Bonnie! Come push me out in a huff!

Peter, what is this show?

It's called Creeping Up on the Kardashians.

See that guy with the ponytail in the background?

He sneaks up and scares the girls while they're starting businesses or getting their fat waxed.

(all scream)

What the hell?!

(crowd clamoring)

There they are! That's the Nielsen family!

You ruined television!

Now it's just a big, old, silly mess!

Oh, God! An angry mob!

I've got to swallow all my valuables and get out of here!

Did you see the mob?

Did I see the mob?

Why else am I here?


Oh, my God, Peter, they're really angry!

Say something!

W-Wait. What the hell's going on?

What do you mean, I ruined television?

You put a real cougar on Cougar Town, and now that cougar's dead because Courtney Cox ripped it apart with her teeth and claws!

You turned Anderson Cooper 360 into Anderson Cooper 720!

He's turning around too much!

You converted The Biggest Loser to the metric system!

Now it feels like they're not losing enough!

Aw, the hell with you guys!

You're just jealous 'cause I get to say what's on TV now!

I am a Nielsen god!


Sorry, y'all.

That's the first time I ever throwed anything.

Well, if it isn't Mr. Nielsen himself.

Nurse, who's the worst doctor in this hospital?

You are, Dr. Hartman.

Good. Put Hartman on this bozo.

Hey, what can I do for you?

Please, Doc, you got to help me with this nasty gash.

What seems to be the problem?

No, it's my husband.

Oh. Well, you've got a lot of nerve coming in here after what you did to television.

Now, get out!

Please, Doctor, you've got to help him.

You took an oath when you went to medical school.

I took a lot of things when I went to medical school.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to answer this.


Ah, Hartman!

Hey, guys. How you doing?

Not so good, Peter.

Yeah, me, either.

Thanks to you, TV's a vast wasteland.

You know how I know that phrase?

I read it in a book, you monster!

Aw, come on, let me make it up to you.

Let me buy you a beer.

No, that seat's taken.

Move along, Peter.

What are you talking about?

You guys are my pals.

We used to be, Peter.

Now, scram.

Well, fine, I'll sit at the bar.

Not at my bar, you won't.

Get out of here!

Geez, I can't show my face anywhere.

I might as well be back doing public radio.

This is Peter Griffin, and you're listening to Book Talk on WRNI.

Today we'll be discussing Bret Easton Ellis's popular work, Less Than Zero, a tale of privilege, detachment and youthful alienation.

(taking a long, loud sip of tea)

But first, a word from our sponsor, Westin's Golden Soda Biscuits.

I'm enjoying one right now.

(crunches biscuit)


(sips, then crunches)


(sips tea, crunches biscuit)


(sips tea, crunches biscuit)

(sips tea)


That concludes today's session of Book Talk.

Tune in tomorrow when we will look at John Kennedy Toole's unheralded early work, The Neon Bible.

Hey, what's wrong, Peter?

I miss my friends, Brian.

I mean, I was having fun with those Nielsen boxes, but what's the point if I don't got Joe and Quagmire to enjoy it with me?

I guess I shouldn't have messed with television.

Well, it's not exactly your fault.

The networks never should have listened to you in the first place.

This is exactly what makes bad television: pandering to the lowest common denominator.

So what do I do, Brian?

Well, you still have these boxes.

That means you still have the power to influence television.

Maybe you can use that power to help restore TV to the way it was.

You're right, Brian.

Maybe if I watch smart, quality shows, that'll help get things back to the way they were.

We can use these boxes for good and...

What the hell?!

That's for adding another tree to One Tree Hill!

Oh, my God, he destroyed every last box!

Holy crap!

We're sunk now, Peter.

There goes your one chance to get TV back to the way it was.

Wait a minute. Maybe not, Brian.

I think I just got an idea.

Aah! I got glass in my face!

Oh, crap. Now I forgot what it was.

I got it!

Aah! Son of a bitch!

You know who I hate?

The troops.

Yeah, me, too.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, who are you?

I'm Peter Griffin.

I'm the guy who ruined television, and I'm the guy who's gonna fix it.


I broke television, and now you have to help me fix it!


Looks like this is one we beat you to.

Gentlemen, I have gathered you all here today because you are the creators of what television used to be before I ruined it.

And we need to rebuild television from the ground up.

So, I'm gonna need all your best ideas.

J.J. Abrams, you take wonder and complexity and present it in a way that no one can possibly understand.

Whaddaya got?!

I've got an alien that goes back in time and encounters a koala bear in an Eastern European town.

Totally confused. Do it!

Okay, now, we're gonna need 15 workplace comedies where people talk to the camera for some reason.

You, you, you and you-- go.

When Peter told me to make a workplace comedy where people talk to the camera, I thought...

Not now! I mean, go do a show!

Don't-don't do that thing here.


Wonder if I can pull off one of those

"can you believe what I have to put up with" looks to the camera.

Okay, Mark Burnett, you did Survivor and The Apprentice.

Can you give me a reality show where people do horrible, unforgiveable things to each other for embarrassingly small sums of money?

I got some ideas.

Here's a nickel, pull down your pants.

There's a show.

Yah-ha! Go!

All right, now, who's gonna make a show about horrible New Jersey freaks?

You know what? I don't care.

Just someone, do it!

Okay, Dick Wolf, make the same Law and Order six times.

Oh, and also, could you marry Matt Weiner

'cause I want your name to be Dick "Weener."

Okay, but can I go by "Dick Wolf-Weener"?

Oh, my God, yes! Yes! Yes!

Okay, Bravo people, go find women fighting.

No, you know what, just find women.

They'll end up fighting.

All right, everyone who's left, make a talent show.

We are done.

Oh, Kelsey Grammer, what are you still doing here?

I-I have nothing left for you.

I'm... I'm sorry.

Ah. Then I shall take my ease on the lanai.

I don't care what you do now.

TV ANNOUNCER: We now return to Mike and Molly.

Have you decided what you'd like to order?

Yes, the chopped salad?

I'll have everything except that.

(studio audience laughing)


That waiter's like, "What?!"

Well, you did it, Peter.

You got TV back to normal.

Yeah, guys, I'm sorry for screwing up all your favorite shows.

Ah, that's okay, Peter.

So, what do you say?

Are we pals again?

Ah, course we are. You bet.

Well, let's drink to having TV back in the hands of people who know what they're doing.

I think Zack and Cody would be funnier if they did the show in their underpants.