Previously confined to prime time on Sunday evenings, FOX's "Animation Domination" is now spilling into late-night Saturday. Last January, the network announced its plans to build a 90-minute block of alternative animated programming on Saturday nights, and now the lineup and premiere date have been revealed.
Representing the on-air component of FOX's digital animation network, which includes online content, mobile apps, game consoles, and video on demand, "Animation Domination Hi-Def" will debut on Saturday, July 27 from 11:00 PM until 12:30 AM. The network has ordered an initial six quarter-hours for the three new series, consisting of Axe Cop, High School USA!, and an untitled Lucas Brothers project, with additional scheduling and programming information to be announced.
Axe Cop follows the title character and his loyal partner, Flute Cop, as they unleash their unique brand of vigilante justice on bad guys while operating on only two minutes of sleep per night and a diet consisting solely of birthday cake. Their heroics include stopping Hitler from creating an army of evil zombie robots and helping Bat Warthog Man find the villain who stole all of his best friends. Enraging adult writers everywhere, the concept came from the unfettered imagination of a five-year-old boy, Malachai Nicolle, with help from his 30-year-old brother Ethan. What started as a small passion project between the two brothers evolved into an online sensation and was later published as a graphic novel by Dark Horse Books. The ensemble cast includes Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino, and Peter Serafinowicz, as well as weekly guest stars such as Giancarlo Esposito, rapper Tyler The Creator, Jonathan Banks, Rob Huebel, and Dan Harmon.
High School USA! chronicles super positive millennial students as they confront all the unique challenges of growing up in a modern world. Led by the painfully naïve and always upbeat Marsh Merriweather, there is nothing these kids can't put a positive spin on, from cyber bullying to Adderall addiction to embarrassing sexting incidents. Featuring a cast that includes Mandy Moore and Vincent Kartheiser, the series is created and written by Dino Stamatopoulos, a writer, actor, and producer who has worked on Mr. Show, TV Funhouse, MADtv, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Community. Perhaps best known for playing the recurring role of Star-Burns on Community, Stamatopoulos also created the Adult Swim programs Moral Orel and Mary Shelley's Frankenhole.
Selected as two of the New Faces of Comedy at the 2012 Montréal Just For Laughs comedy festival, New York-based identical twins Kenny and Keith Lucas get animated in the untitled Lucas Brothers project. After their uncle dies and leaves them his old van, the twins start a moving company, although customers are often apprehensive to hire such a scrawny duo. A day that begins simply by moving a bed down the street may lead to the threat of citywide catastrophe, resolved only with the help of a once-famous wrestler from the '90s. No matter what happens around them, Kenny and Keith always remain completely and bizarrely unfazed.
At last year's Television Critics Association winter press tour, FOX president of entertainment Kevin Reilly acknowledged that they were not taking advantage of the "real estate" available on the Saturday late-night schedule, previously inhabited by MADtv, Talkshow with Spike Feresten, and The Wanda Sykes Show. Facing competition from Adult Swim's block of late-night animation, the network felt the time was right to fill the timeslot.