Reports of Brian Griffin's death appear to have been unsurprisingly exaggerated as the appearance of a countdown site suggests the resurrection of Family Guy's family dog could be just a few days away.

Deadline and Variety are both reporting on the sudden appearance of the website which contains a countdown hinting at an announcement concerning Brian's fate being just 10 days away.

Following Brian's casual demise during Sunday's episode, many fans expressed skepticism that his absence would be long-lived, despite the show's attempts to make his return appear impossible.

Other fans, however, refused to risk the possibility that Brian was really gone for good, and launched a petition calling on Seth MacFarlane and Fox to un-kill the character.

The petition has gathered nearly 40,000 signatures at the time of writing.

Though the Griffins have already replaced Brian with another talking dog, Deadline notes that actor Tony Sirico (The Sopranos) has only been contracted to appear as the voice of Vinny in six episodes.

Additionally, according to the Family Guy Wikia, two future episodes appear to have Brian's name in their title, and an Entertainment Weekly article published last month features the show's executive producer Steve Callaghan describing an upcoming episode in which Brian plays the lead role.

Update 12:30 p.m.: A rep for 20th Century Fox just told TVLine that Family Guy's producers are distancing themselves from, claiming it's a hoax site.

However, TVLine says it believes Brian will nonetheless be resurrected around the time the countdown is set to expire, suggesting he will most likely make his return during the upcoming "Christmas Guy" episode which revolves around Stewie plotting to get "the one and only thing he wants for Christmas."

[video via Fox]