EXCLUSIVE: Syfy is expanding the slate of its TZGZ weekly late-night animation block with three series orders and two pilot greenlights.
The network has picked up a second season of Hell Den. TZGZ licensed the first season of the series, but season 2 will be an original, comprised of six 15-minute episodes. It is the same approach Syfy took with the acquired Magical Girl Friendship Squad, which became TZGZ’s first original series after the network in January ordered supersized new episodes to air this summer.
Also in January, TZGZ ordered its first internally developed animated pilots, the 15-minute Wild Life and Devil May Care. Wild Life has now been picked up to series. Devil May Care, which remains in consideration, is being joined by two new 15-minute pilots ordered for the block, Plutonian (working title), about the Plutonians who are determined to rebrand their image and prove themselves to other planetary beings; and Psycho Palms, a stop motion dark comedy following 1940s D-List cartoon character Timecrow and his misfit costars.
Additionally, TZGZ, whose tag line, “It Comes After Syfy”, reflects its moniker being Syfy, where each letter is replaced by the next one in the alphabet, has acquired the 30-episode, six-minute series Dr. Havoc’s Diary. It debuts this Saturday.
Syfy quietly launched TZGZ in November as a 90-minute, weekly late-night adult animation block of acquired series — many of them coming from little known platforms — anchored by Futurama repeats. Encouraged by the solid ratings for the Saturday block, which quickly started 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.
The block has since continued to grow and bring younger viewers, boosting its time slot by +13% in the 18-49 demo vs the prior0-year averages. And, with animation being the only TV genre able to stay in production during the pandemic, Syfy is stepping up its efforts in the arena to secure more fresh content on the network later this year. Within three months, TZGZ has ordered three new animated series, Magical Girl Friendship, Hell Den and Wild Life and four pilots.
Produced by Shout! Factory and Rafael Entertainment, Hell Den is described as a new, unique, and very warped twist on sketch comedy that combines original animation with old live-action and animated clips re-dubbed by members of the Dr. God comedy troupe. Season 2 picks up after an Uber-Apocalypse wipes out civilization, and only one person miraculously survives: 12-year-old Andrew. With the last working TV and VCR in existence, he invites a motley group of apocalyptic creatures into his house to watch weird cartoons and old movies.
Wild Life is about animal friends just trying to stay alive after the apocalypse. The network has ordered five 15-minute episodes, produced by Adam Davies, Alex Plapinger, Dylan Dawson, Valparaiso Pictures and Octopie.
Dr. Havoc’s Diary, from New Form, revolves around a mid-level supervillain who’s having a mid-life crisis as he battles secret agents, superheroes and his wife.
Dr. Havoc’s Diary joins TZGZ’s other acquired series Purgatory, Cyanide and Happiness, Alien’s Guide to Earth, Don’t Feed the Humans, Brogan: Master of Castles, Gary and his Demons, Hell Den (S1), Science! and Magical Girl Friendship Squad (short-form version).
Here are credits for TZGZ’s original and acquired series and pilots:
HELL DEN (Season 2)
Straight to series order (6×15 min episodes)
Produced by Shout! Factory, Rafael Raffaele Entertainment
LOGLINE: After an Uber-Apocalypse wipes out civilization, only one person miraculously survives: 12 year-old Andrew. With the last working TV and VCR in existence, he invites a motley group of apocalyptic creatures into his house to watch weird cartoons and old movies. Hell Den combines original animation of our characters with old live-action and animated clips re-dubbed by the Dr. God troupe in this new, unique, and very warped twist on sketch comedy.
CAST: Series regulars Sean Cowhig, Neil Garguilo, Brian James O’Connell, David Park and Justin Ware; guest stars Matthew Lillard, Katie Leclerc, Maria Bamford, Kevin Heffernan
Greenlit to series from pilot (pilot + 5×15 min episodes = 6 episodes total)
TZGZ’s first internally developed pilot greenlit to series
Produced by Adam Davies, Alex Plapinger, Dylan Dawson, Valparaiso Pictures and Octopie
LOGLINE: A show about animal friends just trying to stay alive after the apocalypse. Together, they come up with elaborate schemes to entertain themselves and pretty much just keep from going insane.
CAST: Natalie Palamides, Baron Vaughn, Reggie Watts, John Paul Reynolds, Claudia O’Doherty, SkittLeZ Ortiz
DR. HAVOC’S DIARY
30 x 6-min eps
Produced by New Form
LOGLINE: A mid-level supervillain having a mid-life crisis battles secret agents, superheroes and his wife.
PLUTONIANS (working title)
Pilot order (15 min episodes)
Produced by Brave Media and Yeti Farm
LOGLINE: The Interplanetary Federation has conferred and it’s official: Pluto is no longer a planet. The Plutonians are now determined to rebrand their image and prove themselves to the other planetary beings of the solar system – with the exception of Earth, who are notorious bullies and can’t find out about alien life.
Pilot order (15 min episodes)
Produced by Open the Portal and Jacob Robinson, head of Tractor Pants, an animation-centric production company with an overall deal at Legendary Television Studios.
LOGLINE: Psycho Psalms is a stop motion dark comedy following 1940s D-List cartoon character Timecrow and his misfit costars, as they attempt to navigate our postmodern internet hellscape after being yanked through a portal to our present day. These offbeat characters will take you to a dark place, but they won’t leave you there.
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