Post 2014 Upfront Breakdown
While the dust begins to settle on Swim’s announcements (and the eventual May 14th soiree… that we once again were not invited to), I wanted to throw in my analysis of what you can possibly expect from series/pilots announced as well as series renewed/not renewed.
There were three pilots announced this year. As always, pilots could mean anything from them showing up randomly on Swim TV at 4:30am or not at all (I’m looking at you, “Tight Bros”). I’ll deal with them individually…
Untitled World Star Hip Hop Project: With shows like “The Boondocks,” “Loiter Squad,” and “Black Dynamite,” on the network, it’s safe to say Swim has an “urban” representation covered. As I said, I’ve not heard of the site until yesterday… however I looked it up on Wikipedia. Evidently the site is “infamous for posting videos of violent fights and public sexual acts.” I could be wrong, but that sounds like a trainwreck waiting to happen. The last time a network tried making a pilot out of a website (USA Network tried a pilot to eBaumsworld.com hosted by Chris Jericho) no good seemed to come of it. But, of course let’s wait and see what happens.
Dream Corp LLC: I like John Krasinski… we share a birthday (October 20th) and he was funny on “The Office.” There also hasn’t been a live-action/animated hybrid since Tim and Eric’s “Tom Goes to the Mayor.” Without too much info about the show, it sounds like the Inception episode of “Rick and Morty,” which was great. Again, let’s wait and see what happens.
Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter: “Delocated’s” Jon Glaser as a hunter of werewolves… who wears neon clothing. I’m sold. Hands down, I think out of the three, this will be the winner (if in fact they throw up another pilot tournament that doesn’t lead anywhere… Brought to you by *insert fast food restaurant here*). PFFR is also behind the pilot, and since the show doesn’t have to be anywhere serious as “Delocated,” I can see them getting away with mind-screwing stuff, much like they have with their previous shows “Xavier: Renegade Angel” and “The Heart, She Holler.”
A few of these were announced at last year’s Upfronts. Again, I’ll deal individually:
Mike Tyson Mysteries: Last year, I mentioned that I felt this show was going to be the sleeper hit of year, along with “Rick and Morty.” Obviously I was right on the latter, so who’s to say MTM won’t be this year’s sleeper? What we know already: It’s animated Mike Tyson with a talking pigeon, an adopted Korean daughter, the ghost of the Marques de Queensbury, and more. Clearly this show is going to be a spoof of all your favorite 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoons like Mr. T, Speed Buggy, Jabberjaw, and more. Warner Bros Animation (the folks who bring you all those cool Batman direct-to-DVD movies) are behind the animation as well, so it should look pretty awesome. Also… Mego figures.
Mr. Pickles: Also announced last year. After I gave my thoughts on the show (which were pretty much “I dunno”), I was contacted by their PR team who sent me a copy of the pilot to peruse. I sent back my feedback which was basically this: The plot is great… it’s a Lassie spoof, except Mr. Pickles is essentially a demon dog who causes trouble, and then blames it on the grandfather. The one thing I didn’t care for, was the fact that it seemed to take the same cues used previously by “Metalocalypse” and “Superjail”… plenty of uber-violence and shock value. Despite this… it WAS only the pilot, and as we’ve talked about many times on the Swimcast, pilots don’t make/break the show (case in point: “Frisky Dingo” took about 3 or 4 episodes in for any of us to warm up to). I’m obviously going to give this a sporting chance… and if their PR happen upon this article, feel free to send me any follow ups to review.
Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories: I still have yet to see the Halloween episode with guest star Zach Galifianakis, however it’s Tim and Eric… so it’ll have the T&E fans excited and the haters wishing them death by fatal disease.
Black Jesus: The Final Season of MacGruder’s “Boondocks” is currently airing. Prior to that, it was announced that he wouldn’t be the showrunner for this season. It’s no secret that Swim and MacGruder haven’t been seeing eye to eye for a while now (I believe the hiatus between seasons two and three were when the problems started). Ultimately, it seems Swim and MacGruder have made some kind of peace, with the latter giving his blessing for Swim to go ahead with the final season without him. Obviously, the trade-off is that they’re allowing him a new series. Will it be as successful as “The Boondocks?” Only time will tell.
Untitled Jack McBrayer/Triumph Sitcom: Jack McBrayer and Robert Smigel/Triumph: The Insult Comic Dog in a sitcom environment. Enough Said. Unless of course you missed the video we’ve been posting.
There’s only one special this year, but BOY is it a special:
The Venture Bros.: YES! A one-hour special from your friends Titmouse and the AstroBase. Looks like this one may not only sustain us until Season 6, but also bridges Season 5 to 6. The special is set in space, on board Gargantua-2. For you Venturoos at home who don’t know the story: Gargantua-2 was being worked on by Jonas Jr. at the start of VB Season 5 (with hints of it in Season 4) as a replacement to his father’s Gargantua-1, featured prominently in Season 1. Jonas calls Rusty in the first episode and asks him to build a force field (hence the Paelamon Project). Will the force field succeed? What else could happen? How will “everyone” be involved? We’ll find out later this year.
Obviously, there are plenty returning. Some are already on (“Boondocks” and “Robot Chicken”). “Loiter Squad” is back next week (for some odd reason).
In terms of live-action, I’m glad “Childrens Hospital” S6 is coming (why wouldn’t Swim renew their Emmy-winning bread and butter)? Also glad “Newsreaders” is getting a second run… even it it’s without Louis LaFonda. Still, Alan Tudyk is a welcomed surprise. Speaking of, “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” getting a second season. “Hell” yes.
In addition, “The Eric Andre Show” is the perfect amount of crazy NOT to have been picked up again… likewise “The Heart, She Holler.” Although I do hope in the case of the latter, they bring back Kristen Schaal as Hurshe. “Hot Package” is also returning… I have to go back and watch, but the first episode didn’t really impress me that much.
At this point, “Squidbillies” and “Aqua” are always expected. I’m eager to see if they change the name a fourth time, or perhaps revert back to “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” I think the name changing shtick is getting a little old.
Can’t wait for new “Superjail!” been a while since we’ve seen the Warden and Co. “China, IL” is still fresh in our minds from last fall, but welcomed back also. Last (but certainly not least) my pick for last year, “Rick and Morty” will indeed return. With NBC announcing today the cancellation of “Community,” it should be interesting to see if Dan Harmon puts more eggs in R&M next season.
As far as the rest of the lineup goes: Toonami be Toonami… I am eager to watch “Attack on Titan”. The Fox stuff, I could do less with… there’s only so much American Cleveland Guy of the Hill I can stomach on a weekly basis. More “Bob’s Burgers,” please.
Ok, well…. “Tight Bros.” …Dead issue, clearly.
I think the big absence for me is “NTSF:SD:SUV::” I’d mentioned this in an earlier news post, but I feel like the cast and crew are kind of splitting off and doing other shows, etc. I do hope it comes back. “Eagleheart’s” not on the lineup right now… obviously since they just came off the most recent season. Perhaps the NTSF-Eagleheart crossover people at NYCC were clamoring for is in the works?
Also missing: “Metalocalypse.” We did have the “Doomstar Requiem” special last October… it was ok. Rumors were swirling by the time November hit. Co-creator, Tommy Blacha said that the “future looks bright” for the show. However, nothing further has been mentioned since then.
“King Star King,” is also rumored for a June 25th release (same day as “Superjail!”) Until Swim issues a Press Release, formally announcing… let’s wait and see. Things do change at the drop of a hat. Even when dates are announced (Remember how they said “Boondocks” was coming in January)?
Also, has Matt Harrigan’s “Untitled Cruise Ship Project” gone the way of “Tight Bros?” Because we can never have enough “What happened to Tight Bros?” jokes.
I’m definitely sticking to my guns by saying that I think “Mike Tyson Mysteries” will be this coming year’s sleeper hit for the network with the McBrayer/Triumph sitcom as my second pick. Pilot-wise, I’m going with “Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter.” Do I think it’ll make it to series? Not sure, especially since the horror-comedy genre hasn’t worked out well in the past (Everyone loved the “Stiff” pilot… yet, no further eps were ordered).
Do you have your own opinions on the Upfronts? Chat about the shows on our forums.