Are you eagerly awaiting the premiere of Son of Zorn? Then we’ve got some good news for you.
The FOX life-action/animated comedy was all set to premiere at the end of September, but the network announced at the 2016 Summer TCA press tour that it’s actually going to preview at the beginning of the month! That’s right, following the season’s first NFL doubleheader, Son of Zorn will now debut on Sunday, September 11th before the show moves to its regular timeslot on Sunday, September 25th (where it will air an all-new episode!).
The new hybrid comedy Son of Zorn comes from executive producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and stars the voice of Jason Sudeikis as a warrior from Zephyria, a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean – where everything and everyone is animated – who returns to Orange County, CA, to win back his live-action ex-wife Edie (Cheryl Hines) and teenage son Alangulon, a.k.a. Alan (Johnny Pemberton). But that turns out to be a bit harder than he thought since she now has a fiancé (Tim Meadows). So in order to reconnect with his son, Zorn stays and obtains a job where—despite his “unique” qualities—he is welcomed by his new boss (Artemis Pebdani).
The lively TCA panel was interrupted by Zorn who facetimed into the ballroom (while getting a drink at Starbucks, where the staff was intimidated enough to actually spell his name right) to say hello. He also got in some well-placed jabs at ABC’s failed series Blood and Oil and Wicked City before letting the producers take over.
“We never wanted to call him a cartoon,” co-creator/executive producer Reed Agnew told the room of reporters about Zorn’s acceptance in the live-action world. “We talk about it as if you were to see someone from Liberia who would seem strange and look weird.”
Executive producer/director Eric Appel added, “Zephyria exists on Earth. It’s an island in the Pacific Ocean. Everyone in the world has an awareness of this place.”
“The element of him being animated is a side note,” executive producer Sally Bradford McKenna said.
The panel then devolved into genuine laughter when a journalist asked the stars to pick an animated character they’d want to have sex with—yes, that actually happened. (For what it’s worth, Tim Meadows picked Veronica from Archie. Or Catwoman. Cheryl Hines picked Zorn.)
When asked how the series is going to sustain itself for an entire season, the producers revealed that setting Zorn in realistic situations provides enough comedy fodder.
“It’s about Zorn navigating the world of banal, American, suburban lameness, and he comes from a world where everyday is a battle and there are monsters to be slain,” Agnew said. “Now, he can’t figure out how a vending machine works. These are his battles now.”
As for why they decided to set half of the show in an office when Zorn is forced to get a job, the answer for the producers was simple. “The cubicle is the most banal thing in an office with fluorescent lights,” Agnew said. “It’s a shitty job but you’ve got to pay the rent.”
Son of Zorn will preview on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. following the season’s first NFL doubleheader. The series will then premiere in its regular time period with an all-new episode Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8:30 p.m. on FOX.