On Thursday, the folks at Adult Swim announced their new lineup for 2011-2012–complete with Jay-Z on the mic at a big ol’ party we weren’t invited to. Below is the list of new shows starting this season and returning series (where’s our second season of Titan Maximum).
A couple of things I noticed right off the bat: the network has seemingly hasn’t slowed the expansion of its live-action lineup, with the Paul Scheer-created NTSF:SD:SUV and the soap satire The Heart, She Holler being the most recent addition. In recent years Cartoon Network as a whole seems to be expanding its live-action 15-minute and half-hour offerings. A lot of these shows seem shot on the cheap (I don’t mean cheaply-made, just not overly-expensive).
Check out the lineup with a little extra commentary.
New original series and specials:
NTSF:SD:SUV (National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle), is a clandestine team of government agents working together to protect San Diego from numerous terrorist threats coming in daily from such evil countries as Mexico, Canada and Guam. This team of highly trained operatives has only one job: saving your ass so you can drive your Prius and see your movies in 3-D without worrying about living in a country run by no-good terrorists. As with many other acronym-ed police procedurals that dominate the airwaves, NTSF:SD:SUV::’s season of 15-minute episodes is ripped from the headlines and full of suspense, action, drama, cliffhangers, yelling, passionate love-making, more yelling, death and plenty of pregnant pauses. NTSF:SD:SUV:: is created by Paul Scheer and stars Scheer, Rebecca Romjin, Rob Riggle, Kate Mulgrew, Brandon Johnson, June Diane Raphael, Martin Starr and S.A.M., the first sentient robot on television. Paul Scheer and Jonathan Stern are executive producers. Curtis Gwinn is co-executive producer. Series premieres this summer on Adult Swim.
THE VENTURE BROS. SPECIAL—FROM THE LADLE TO THE GRAVE: THE STORY OF SHALLOW GRAVY
See the Venture Family as you’ve never seen them before: in a 15-minute documentary-style animated special. Follow the meteoric rise, the equally meteoric fall, and the decidedly un-meteor-like second coming of the most important band Hank Venture, Dermott Fitctel and H.E.L.P.eR. robot have ever been in: Shallow Gravy. If you’re hungry for rock, then open wide, because here comes a ladle of heavy metal fire and metaphoric meat drippings. Launched on Adult Swim in August 2004, The Venture Bros. is an inspired spoof of 1960s action cartoon shows such as Johnny Quest. Created by Jackson Publick III (King of the Hill, The Tick), the 30-minute animated series follows the bizarre misadventures of the Venture family. The Venture Bros. Special—From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy premieres July 24 on Adult Swim.
As a huge Venture Brothers fan, it’s great to have new content this year, but it’s still a bummer that we won’t see Season 5 until at least next Fall. On the plus side, it does give us more of the show’s music, which–besides the writing, voice acting, and animation–is one of its high points.
THE HEART, SHE HOLLER
The Heart, She Holler is a new live-action soap opera about folk who ain’t never used soap or seen an opera. It’s a satire on the emotional Hee-Hawification of America, set in a town so inbred, the folks have become almost supernaturally wrong. The series is produced by PFFR, and stars Patton Oswalt and Heather Lawless. The Heart, She Holler premieres this fall on Adult Swim.
Frank and Steve Smith are brothers who teach in the history department of a state university in China, Illinois. They also happen to be legends in their own minds who will often sacrifice facts, lessons and syllabi for the sake of being awesome. Created by Brad Neely, executive produced by Brad Neely (Creased Comics) and Daniel Weidenfeld and produced by Titmouse, Inc. (Metalocalypse), China, IL premieres this fall on Adult Swim.
I’m assuming this is related to the old SuperDeluxe animated thing from what back?
Tight Bros is a new animated comedy that follows two moronic “clergybros” who are on a quest for fat beats, hot chicks and tricked out cell phones. Vince and Aaron were called by God to spread a holy message: one of peace, love and tearin’ up the club. By day the two sell religious kitsch at a kiosk in Viceroy Del Sol mall. By night they hunt for babes, but only with mega tans and super smooth waxes in place. Premiering in the spring of 2012, Tight Bros is created and written and executive produced by Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil.
Based on 2009’s critically-acclaimed feature film, Black Dynamite, the new 30-minute animated series will premiere in the spring of 2012. The Black Dynamite animated series further chronicles the exploits of the central character, Black Dynamite, and his crew. Under the direction of Carl Jones (The Boondocks), the series features the voice talent of Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley and Byron Minns, all of whom starred in the feature film. The feature film is an outrageous action comedy-spoof that follows ex-CIA agent and full-time ladies man, Black Dynamite, who’s out to avenge the death of his brother against kung-fu masters, drug-dealing pimps and The Man. Black Dynamite, the animated series, is being produced by Ars Nova Entertainment. Carl Jones is executive producer. Jon Steingart and Jillian Apfelbaum also serve as executive producers. Brian Ash is co-executive producer. Scott Sanders, Michael Jai White and Byron Minns are producers. Black Dynamite is being animated by Titmouse, Inc.
AQUA UNIT PATROL SQUAD 1
More Aqua Teen (under a new name, but still). No complaints here. At this point, this is the longest-running show on the network, right?
Childrens Hospital is an award-winning facility where happy and healthy children are looked after by doctors who deeply care about them and the overall well-being of their community. That whole sentence was a lie. Childrens Hospital is created by Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and produced by Abominable Pictures, distributed by Warner Bros. Television and features an all-star cast. The series is based on the Webby Award–winning digital series that debuted on TheWB.com in 2008. In Season 3, Corddry is again joined by a cast of comedic geniuses, including Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, two-time Emmy® winner Megan Mullally and Henry Winkler. Childrens Hospital also won a Comedy Award this year for best Sketch Comedy/Alternative Comedy Series. Season 3 returns to Adult Swim on Thursday, June 2 at midnight (ET, PT).
By all accounts this one seems to be the breakout hit for the network. Does anyone know if this was originally slated as a limited series? I vaguely recall that being the case when it first premiered. In any event, if you haven’t watched the show it fits in perfectly with Adult Swim’s breezy, frequently anarchic humor–kind of like Grey’s Anatomy with a lunatic clown doctor.
The secret weapon with this series is Henry Winkler, who seems to be continuing his trend of anging ever onwards into a kind of anti-Fonzie, with awkward, uncomfortable roles where he’s usually the least hip person in the room.
This one is coming back next spring. I haven’t had a chance to check out a single episode, but I’ve heard good things. What about you guys?
The live-action comedy Eagleheart, starring Chris Elliott, debuted on the network in 2010. Elliott returns in season 2 as U.S. Marshal Chris Monsanto along with cast members Brett Gelman and Maria Thayer. Every episode of Eagleheart promises violence, suspense, intrigue and copious amounts of needless bloodshed as Marshal Chris Monsanto blindly kicks, punches and shoots his way to what may or may not be a legitimate solution to his case. Created by former Late Night with Conan O’Brien writers Michael Koman and Andrew Weinberg, Eagleheart is produced by O’Brien’s Conaco Productions and Dakota Pictures. It is executive produced by Koman, Weinberg, Jason Woliner, Troy Miller, Tracey Baird, David Kissinger, Conan O’Brien and Jeff Ross. Richard Schwartz is the co-executive producer.
I caught an episode from the last season and thought it was pretty solid. Plus, Chris Elliott’s probably something of an unhealthy formative influence on me–I was a very faithful fan of his surreal grown-up paperboy comedy Get A Life back in the 90’s.
MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENHOLE
Moral Orel creator Dino Stamatopoulos returns to Adult Swim in the spring of 2012 with season 2 of the stop-motion animated series Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole. This is the true story of Victor Frankenstein—the world’s most narcissistic genius—and his various attempts to become recognized as the great creator/scientist that he believes himself to be.
The first season gave us Hitler falling in love with a Jewish foot, so I can go for seconds.
Coming back next Spring, and one of my favorite shows. I think the shift to the half hour format in season 3 was a gamble that ultimately paid off and I’m looking forward to more.
Now where’s our Dethalbum III?
MONGO WRESTLING ALLIANCE
The Wrestler meets Metalocalypse in this story of the once great Kleberkuh Clan. Back-stabbing smoking ring sluts, villainous mutants and pile-drivers from the top of great big ladders—it’s all in a days work for young Rusty Kleberkuh who is determined to restore his family’s name in the treacherous and deviant world of professional wrestling. Created by Tommy Blacha (Metalocalypse co-creator), Mongo Wrestling Alliance premiered season 1 part 1 in January. Season 1 part 2 premieres Sunday, June 19 at midnight (ET, PT).
I watched an episode of MWA and it took me nearly have the running time to realize that one of the voices was awesome character actor Harry Dean Stanton (Pretty In Pink, Big Love, Alien). Adult Swim casts are weird, ya’ll.
Robot Chicken uses stop-motion animation to bring pop-culture parodies to life in a modern take on the variety/sketch show format. The Emmy Award®-winning series began airing in February 2005 and remains the top-rated original series on Adult Swim. Robot Chicken is created and executive produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich under their Stoopid Monkey Productions, in conjunction with Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico’s ShadowMachine Films. Green and Senreich also executive produce, write and, with Chris McKay, direct the series, with Green providing many of the voices. Season 5 part 2 premieres this fall.
The inbred squid-things of Dougal County return for a fifth season of hillbilly shenanigans in the spring of 2012. The squids won’t disappointify you, as long as you like bank robbing, drug trafficking, unskinny bopping, and guest appearances by bona-fide famous people. Squidbillies premiered on Adult Swim in October 2006 and is from creators Dave Willis (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and Jim Fortier (The Brak Show), both Georgia natives. Willis and Fortier worked as writers and producers on Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
We brought you an interview with Superjail! creators Christy Karacas and Stephen Warbrick during its premiere in April. Nothing to add here other than that the second season is measuring up to the first with the added benefit of animation by Titmouse studios.
Pilots currently in development:
Regal Productions; Live action comedy created, directed, produced and starring Bob Odenkirk.
The Dummiez; Nick Cannon project
Untitled project with Major Lazer
Untitled project with Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All
Rolling with Dad; 30-minute animated sit-com created by Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg
Untitled project by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland
FULL METAL ALCHEMIST: BROTHERHOOD
KING OF THE HILL
So what are you excited about from this list?