Family Guy will continue to be free-to-air as ITV snaps up the rights to the hit animated comedy. The broadcaster announced on Monday it had signed a multi-year deal with creator Seth MacFarlane, and will start airing Family Guy on ITV2 this Autumn.

The deal also includes American Dad, The Cleveland Show and new series Bordertown. Family Guy has proved successful in America, where it airs on the FOX network. It currently screens on BBC Three, but with its impending move to online-only, it was expected the show would find a new home on TV.

ITV declined to comment on a picture which emerged earlier this month from ITV towers in London.

It showed a picture of the Griffin Family from Family Guy on an lift 'welcoming them to the ITV family'. BBC tweeted at the time to say that Family Guy would be on the BBC until 2017.

ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham said: "We are delighted to be welcoming him and his comic creations to ITV." He added that Seth MacFarlane was "the comedy voice of choice for an entire generation."

ITV2 will screen the 15th series beginning this Autumn. Family Guy centers around the lives of the Griffin family, led by Peter Griffin who is voiced by MacFarlane. He also lends his voice as the speaking baby Stewie and Brian, the family dog.

MacFarlane's new comedy Bordertown will get its UK premiere on ITV2 under the new deal.

The animated series will be set in a fictitious desert near the Mexican border. The series will centre around the lives of Bud Buckwald and Ernesto Gonzales. Married and a father of three, Bud is a Border Patrol agent who feels threatened by the cultural changes that have transformed his neighbourhood. Living next door to Bud is Ernesto, an industrious Mexican immigrant and father of four, who is proud to be making it in America.

Family Guy first aired in 1999 on FOX and quickly gained a cult following, not just in America but around the world. Currently airing on BBC Three in the UK, the show is regularly the most watched programme on the digital channel.