Does it deliver?
The Cleveland Show tells the tale of Cleveland Brown, who decides to move to California with his son after another divorce. On the way, he stops at his old hometown where he meets his high school crush. Shenanigans ensue.
At first glance, The Cleveland Show seems like a black version of Family Guy. After watching the show, that's not really the case: it IS Family Guy. A B-level Family Guy. You know that it's a spin-off because it's treated like one. It's given no real unique appeal at all. The humor is exactly the same as FG. There's the random cut scenes. Cleveland even finds his own trio of friends to hang out with at a bar. One of those friends is a talking bear. Only Seth McFarlane can get away with making a talking bear a main character just for the sake of having a talking bear on his show. At least with Brian, he's the family dog, and he and Stewie make a terrific team. This bear is just...it's just there.
Overall, the Cleveland Show offered a few chuckles. But right now it only seems to pander to the loyal Family Guy enthusiasts, seemingly not caring whether or not it finds its own audience. The Cleveland Show will try to ride on the Family Guy band wagon for as long as its on air, but as long Family Guy stays the superior 'toon, it will always look second best. If McFarlane insists on using the same brand of humor that he does for FG, then the characters delivering that humor will have to be this show's saving grace. Then again, as I mentioned, Seth McFarlane has proven people wrong before.