Drawing some laughter

Live action meets animation in Son of Zorn on City.
city_son_of_zorn_fullWeb

This article appears in the Summer 2016 issue of strategy.

Joining the Sunday night comedy lineup on City is Son of Zorn, where live action meets animation. Airing Sundays at 8:30 p.m., simulcast with Fox, the comedy stars the voice of Jason Sudeikis as a macho cartoon Barbarian who leaves his war-torn village to reconnect with his son in suburban Orange County (and get a job selling industrial soap dispensers).

The rest of his family, including his son (Shameless‘ Cameron Monaghan), ex-wife (Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Cheryl Hines) and her new fiancé (Saturday Night Live‘s Tim Meadows), are all live action, although at least one other animated character makes an appearance.

The show – from Last Man On Earth executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller and showrunners Reed Agnew and Eli Jorne – will follow Canadian original newcomer Nirvanna The Band The Show, which comes after Bob’s Burgers.

“It’s stupid funny,” Excelerator’s Tonia Beale says of the series, which will lead into Family Guy on City. The animation mixed with reality makes it one of the sillier premises that actually works and she thinks it could skew toward millennial males.

The pickup is in line with City’s renewed bet on comedy. This year, the network has brought The Odd Couple into its lineup, alongside longer-running series including The Middle, Two Broke Girls, Mom, Blackish and The Mindy Project.

Hayden Mindell, VP of TV programming and content at Rogers Media, says one of City’s strengths is attracting younger audiences. “While our target remains 25 to 54, it’s in the spirit of the brand to program for the younger-skewing audiences within that spectrum and we’ve been consistent with that approach this year.”