Brian returns to Family Guy in special holiday episode
Family Guy has been shown on BBC Three since 2005 (Fox)

ITV are reported to be in talks to buy the rights to broadcast the popular US comedy show Family Guy.

Executives from US network Fox recently visited ITV amid speculation it was a summit to discuss switching the adult-themed cartoon after the BBC channel shifts online.

BBC announced last year that BBC Three will move to online only as part of its plan to "develop new forms, formats, different durations, and more individualised and interactive content".

It is believed the broadcaster was not be willing to pay to take the animated series to its new online format despite consistently being one of its highest rated shows since it first aired on the channel in 2005.

Rumours about the move for Family Guy began after an employee for ITV tweeted an image showing the Griffin family next to the ITV logo brand on one of their lift doors.

ITV is said to frequently change the images of their lift doors depending on who is visiting the building in central London.

It is believed the hit series, created by Seth McFarlane, may be shown on ITV2 if the deal is struck.

An ITV spokesperson kept the show's millions of dedicated fans on tenderhooks, refusing to comment on the progress of the talks.