EXCLUSIVE: Syfy;s TZGZ weekly late-night animation block has given a straight-to-series order to The Summoner, from Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and writer, actor and The New Yorker cartoonist Charlie Hankin.
Your Complete Guide to Pilots and Straight-to-Series orders
Greenlit for 10 three-minute episodes to premiere next year, The Summoner is a 2D animated series based on the short film from Hankin about Rory and his challenging roommate. (You can watch it below the story.) Rory, in his 20’s and living on his own for the first time, has found himself in a small 2-bedroom with the Summoner, a magical alien with the power to summon any object to his present location. This sounds potentially useful, but it isn’t—the Summoner has a tenuous grasp of English and only summons the most useless shit.
“The Summoner is a perfect example of how we’re experimenting with content for TZGZ by continuing to add smart stories from unique voices, but also playing with different formats and new animation styles, like Charlie’s distinctive hand-drawn look,” said Jon Cotton, VP, Short-Form Animation & Alternative Formats for Syfy. “Working with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios on this project was a no-brainer, given their track record for creating some of the buzziest adult animation out there.”
The Summoner is executive produced by Seth Green, Hankin, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich, Eric Towner and Chris Waters.
“We’ve been a fan of Charlie’s work for The New Yorker for quite some time,” said Stoopid Buddy Stoodios co-founder Matthew Senreich. “We love the offbeat, observational humor of his comics, and can’t wait to bring his singular voice and design sensibilities into the world of animation as part of the TZGZ line-up.”
Airing on Syfy every Saturday at midnight-ish, TZGZ is a 90-minute block of adult comedic, animated, genre-based programming of varying lengths. Since its November 2019 debut, TZGZ has showed year-to-year growth in the 18-49 demo and continues to bring younger viewers to the network.
TZGZ started off as a block of acquired animated series anchored by Futurama repeats. Encouraged by the solid performance of the soft launch in attracting new young male audience to the network, Syfy in January took the next step, adding originals to the mix with the first series and pilot orders. Within eight months, TZGZ has picked up a total of five new animated series, Magical Girl Friendship, Hell Den, Wild Life, Devil May Care and The Summoner.
Unlike live-action series, animated shows have been largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, with production continuing remotely, as evident in the block’s latest promo:
The Summoner adds to Stoopid Buddy Stoodios’ current 2D lineup of Adam Ruins Everything, Camp WWE and Hot Streets, and the recently announced Filthy Animals, a 2D animated science fiction comedy series featuring Rashida Jones, written by Nikolai and Simon Haas.
As an actor, Hankin has appeared in I Love Dick, The Last OG and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He is half of the sketch duo and filmmaking team Good Cop Great Cop, who have been making short films together for over a decade. Together, they have developed pilots with TBS and Comedy Central.
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