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September 1, 2014

Animation

HBO Orders Another Season of 'The Ricky Gervais Show'

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 24th 2010 2:06PM
Ricky Gervais Show'The Ricky Gervais Show' isn't a show that gets great ratings, but HBO seems to be happy with it (and having Gervais attached to any show on your network can only be a good thing), so they've decided to give a second season to the animated talk show. Gervais stars with co-hosts Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. It's basically their podcasts in cartoon form. We've joked here about doing a video version of our podcasts but I'm not sure if any of us want to see what we would look like in colorful animated drawings.

It's really a different kind of show, the type of show that has to be on cable, on a channel like HBO (or Comedy Central). You certainly can't picture it on CBS, in a comedy block between 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' and 'Gary Unmarried.' I love how an animated Gervais looks like Fred Flintstone's brother.

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Seth MacFarlane Does an Animated "Priceline Negotiator!" Ad

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 22nd 2010 4:04PM
As you can tell from Jason's weekly Sundays with Seth wrap-ups, Seth MacFarlane is taking over the media. He's even doing animated ads. Here's one for Priceline that features William Shatner fighting William Shatner.

Personally I think the live-action Priceline ads are funnier (live-action Shatner is funnier than cartoon voice Shatner - besides, the live action ads are cartoonish already), but the little comedy short that follows is amusing (probably because I love dogs).

[via AdFreak]

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Sundays with Seth: Race for the Punchline

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 22nd 2010 5:33AM
'Family Guy' - 'Peter-Assment'
Carrie Fisher guest-starred on 'Family Guy' as Peter's boss, Angela, and was clearly having a hoot playing the sexual harasser. It was pretty funny that the difference in Peter's appearance that turned Angela onto him was the absence of his glasses; particularly because the artistic difference is a matter of a few lines.

The glasses were destroyed by Ollie Williams after Peter identified him by a string of different black celebrities, riffing on the stereotypical joke that white people think black people all look alike. In a very bizarre parallel, 'The Cleveland Show' had a sequence in it that explored the exact same stereotypical racist joke; this time with Lester in Harlem mistaking everyone he sees for Cleveland.

Both episodes also ran in tandem with their sexual harassment storylines. Coach McFall made a return appearance, and convinced Cleveland to help him reunite with what he claimed was a long-lost love: Tyne Daly.

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'The Simpsons' - 'Stealing First Base' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 22nd 2010 5:25AM
'The Simpsons' - 'Stealing First Base'(S21E15) Our overly litigious society comes under fire in this week's installment of 'The Simpsons,' when a first kiss leads to zero tolerance on touching of any kind at the school. The new policy led to some pretty hilariously awkward moments later in the episode.

Bart learned the complexities of women and relationships while Lisa got a major boost in her self-esteem from Flotus1, a commenter on her gardening blog who was revealed to be someone everyone knows: the First Lady of the United States. The episode focused almost entirely on the school, and was incredibly entertaining throughout; definitely one of the strongest installments of the season so far.

So many of the gags and little jokes worked, like Lisa's teacher deriding her overachiever tendencies, Nelson taking a blind kid under his wing and even Bart and Nikki's discussion on proper vampires.

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'Archer' - 'Dial M for Mother' Recap (Season Finale)

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 19th 2010 2:11PM
archer
(S01E10) Whoa, whoa, whoa. Did 'Archer' just get sentimental on us for a split second? It was an almost stealthy move. Sure, the season finale wrapped up with Mallory calling her son an ass but it was... sweet. Considering the whole super-spy nature of the show, the rest of the finale wasn't very action-packed. Instead, the focus remained on Archer and Mallory's relationship and the sick, twisted world of ISIS office romances. I think the picture accompanying this post pretty much sums that part up.

Overall, though, this was one of my favorite episodes from the series so far, with a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. And I'm sure you didn't realize we needed a new "Schwing!" but let's pretend that's what "Sploosh" (with the little hand motion) is going to be.

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Sundays with Seth: All's Fair in Love and Cross-Dressing

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 15th 2010 2:28PM
'Family Guy' - 'Go Stewie Go'With 'American Dad' off the schedule for now so FOX can bring us 'Sons of Tucson,' and 'The Cleveland Show' bumped for a 'Simpsons' rerun, 'Family Guy' flew alone as the sole representative of the Seth MacFarlane empire. Luckily, with Stewie in drag for a 'Tootsie'-inspired storyline and Meg with a *gasp* real boyfriend, the episode offered enough laughs to get us through.

Cleveland might have had to skip his own new episode so that he could make the drive to Quahog for a cameo appearance this week. "This was worth the 500 mile drive," he declared upon his arrival in one of the funnier absurdist sequences on the night.

Love was in the air this week, with Stewie joining the American production of his favorite children's show, only to find love with one of his co-stars, while Lois' growing insecurities about her age led her to cougar Meg's new boyfriend as hard as she could.

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'The Simpsons' - 'Postcards from the Wedge' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 15th 2010 8:15AM
The Simpsons(S21E14) I bet the newspaper industry was thrilled with this episode. While we're living in an era where the daily print newspaper is on the decline, we learned that in the future, people will get six daily editions of the newspaper -- and yet the fashions of the 1950s and early 1960s will still be all the rage, including dutiful wives and chain-smoking.

The opening and closing segments of this episode, which only tangentially had anything to do with the real plot of the episode, reminded me a lot of the old Warner Bros. shorts where they would take a look into a speculative future based on 1940s ideals and values. This interlude was every bit as fun as those, and I found myself disappointed when it ended as a video shown in Mrs. Krabappel's class that even she didn't understand.

Once we got into the meat of the episode, it actually touched on an issue that's pretty serious for most parents: what happens when the two of you disagree on how to deal with a child disciplinary issue.

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Six New Shows Coming to Nickelodeon

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 12th 2010 3:02PM
NickelodeonI left the Nickelodeon demographic many, many (too many) years ago, but I'll admit that there are still some shows on the cable channel that I watch. They're mostly in the nighttime schedule though: some 'Fairly OddParents,' some 'SpongeBob,' maybe an episode of 'George Lopez' or 'Malcolm in the Middle' once in a while. So there aren't a lot of shows on the list of new shows coming to the channel that I'm interested in seeing (well, maybe one...)

'Victorious' sounds a lot like 'High School Musical,' as its about a teen girl who goes to an elite arts school where everyone sings and dances; 'Kung Fu Panda' is based on the movie; 'Planet Sheen' has a character from 'Jimmy Neutron' stuck on another planet; 'T.U.F.F. Puppy' is about a group of superhero dogs; and 'Bubble Guppies' (which sounds like a medical problem) is an animated show for kids set in an underwater classroom.

The only show I might be interested in is 'House of Anubis,' since it's about a group of people who go around Europe looking for clues to a mystery and sounds a little like 'National Treasure' or 'The Da Vinci Code.' It's produced in Europe.

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MacFarlane Takes on the Enemies of 'Family Guy' - PaleyFest Report

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Mar 10th 2010 7:03PM
Seth MacFarlane at PaleyFest 2010It was a communal, sarcastic and distinctly anti-flyover love fest when Seth MacFarlane visited the 2010 PaleyFest Tuesday.

As expected, the event had more of a Comic Con feel to it then the normally more reserved Paley atmosphere. Obsessed fans of 'Family Guy,' 'American Dad' and 'The Cleveland Show' (or fans of all three when you consider they're all kind of the same show) packed into the lavish Saban Theatre to watch MacFarlane sip a little booze, take a few potshots and soak up the adulation.

MacFarlane was joined by Seth Green, Alex Borstein, Dan Palladino, Steve Marmel, Rich Appel, Mike Barker, Danny Smith and Kara Vallow. But MacFarlane held court as the center of attention.

Unfortunately, the presence of Bill Maher (someone who never really was that funny) as host of an event dedicated to MacFarlane (one of the industry's most influential and powerful comedic minds) steered the agenda away from discussing the shows' collective content and future to a more sociopolitical agenda.

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'Futurama' is Coming Back This June! And Bender! And His Banjo! And Fry!

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 5th 2010 2:43AM
Futurama to return in June, 2010Are you looking forward to the carefree and sunny days of summer when the temperature drops to a balmy 80 or 90 degrees, just perfect for tossing around a frisbee, taking a walk with a loved one or just appreciating the sheer beauty and majesty of Mother Earth? Now you've got a perfect excuse to leave all that crap for the hippies and stay inside.

Hitfix reports that some unidentified "Comedy Central sources" have confirmed that the brand spanking new episodes of 'Futurama' will hit the cable network's airwaves on Thursday, June 24.

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Neil Patrick Harris And the 'Smurfs' Movie - UPDATE

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 4th 2010 1:02PM
neil_patrick_harris_smiling_foreheadAs the folks at Moviefone.com point out, blue is the hot color for movies these days, especially if your name is James Cameron. Well, it's not going to be a sequel to 'Avatar' or another Cameron pic or even an updating of 'The Blue Lagoon,' but Neil Patrick Harris has agreed to be in 'Smurfs: The Movie.' (Not to be confused with 'Smurfs: The Opera.')

Actually, Neil will be all voice for the role. Sony's concept for the big screen version of 'Smurfs,' the popular '80s Saturday morning cartoon series, is live action mixed with animation, under the direction of 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua' auteur Raja Gosnell.

Exactly which of the smurfs Neil will play remains shrouded in mystery. I suspect he's getting his pick, as long as it's not Papa Smurf. That role's already been claimed by Jonathan Winters.

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Disney Prepping Animated 'Tron' TV Show

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 3rd 2010 6:03PM
tron legacy tvDisney has big plans for 'Tron'.

Fans awaiting 'Tron Legacy', the upcoming 3D sequel to the 1982 cult flick, have already gotten a taste of the studio's elaborate viral marketing campaign for the film. Thanks to positive fan reaction to the campaign and the movie's teaser trailer, Disney is prepping a big merchandising push and new theme park attractions for the (surprisingly) hot 28-year-old sci-fi franchise.

So what's next for 'Tron'? A TV show, of course.

Blue Sky Digital is reporting that a computer-animated TV series set in the world of 'Tron Legacy' is in the works. According to the site, the show will serve as a "placeholder" to tide fans over between big screen 'Tron' projects.

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'Boondocks' Season Three Premieres in May

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 27th 2010 9:00AM
BoondocksIt's been more than three years since 'The Boondocks' invaded my TV, and now they are coming back for seconds. Well, thirds.

Aaron McGruder, creator of 'The Boondocks' comic strip and animated Adult Swim series, said on his Twitter page that the show will premiere its third season on May 2.

Last December, McGruder, who also serves as the show's executive producer, announced that a third season was in the works but he could not confirm the airdate.

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George Lopez Tapped for Speedy Gonzales Movie

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 25th 2010 7:42PM
Since Hollywood is content with destroying the majority of my greatest TV memories, they are now reaching to the far corners of my brain for beloved childhood icons to forever scar me.

TV actor and comedian George Lopez has been tapped to provide the voice for the beloved Speedy Gonzales in a new big screen movie adaptation of the beloved Warner Brothers 'Looney Tunes' franchise.

Now I understand that big names bring big bucks to the box office, but this really the first time in my mind that a famous Looney Tunes character is being re-voiced by a star instead of a trained voice actor who can mimic the immortal voice of the late Mel Blanc. Voice actor Billy West, an outspoken critic of celebrity voice over characters, once described it in an earlier interview I did with him for Arriviste Press magazine as "most artless, bloodless, Godless idea I've ever heard."

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FX Renews 'Archer'

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 23rd 2010 12:03PM
Archer
'Archer,' the new animated spy spoof on FX, hasn't exactly been destroying the competition in the ratings, but it has gotten enough viewers and critical acclaim and the network has given it a second season.

This makes me extremely happy. The show isn't as laugh out loud funny as I hoped it would be (though it has had some laugh out loud moments for sure), but I love the entire concept, a modern take on the classic '60s spy genre. It's like a really irreverent, dirty 'In Like Flint.'

The voice work (by H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, and Aisha Tyler, among others) is perfect, and one of its funnier aspects is how most of the characters aren't even that likable. 'Archer' has created a world I want to get to know better (and that's a good thing, especially in a cartoon).

This season had ten episodes and FX has ordered thirteen for the second season, which means they have faith in this show. We'll have to wait until 2011 for the new episodes though.

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