Fox’s new live-action/animated hybrid series Son of Zorn will preview at 8 PM Sunday, September 11, after the season’s first NFL doubleheader. The series about a fantasy Pacific island animated warrior who returns to Orange Country to win back his live-action wife and teenage son then will premiere in its regular time slot of 8:30PM Sunday, September 25. Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis is the lead voice-over. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller serve as EPs. Reed Agnew and Eli Jorné (Wilfred) co-created and co-wrote the pilot.
In the series’ special preview episode, “Return to Orange County,” Zorn (Sudeikis) travels from his native land of Zephyria to California to visit his son, Alangulon, aka Alan (Johnny Pemberton). While there, he learns that his ex-wife, Edie (Cheryl Hines), has a fiancé (Tim Meadows). But 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).
During today’s TCA panel, the press corps wrestled with the whole notion of an animated character in our everyday real world. Co-creators/EPs Eric Appel and Reed Agnew as well as EP Sally Bradford McKenna sought to get the room’s head around the concept.
“We never wanted to call him a cartoon,” said Agnew. “When Zorn walks into Applebee’s without a shirt on, no one is like, ‘You’re a cartoon’; it’s more like, ‘You’re not wearing a shirt.'”
Adds Appel, “Everyone on our show has an awareness of Zephyria, just like in the Harry Potter universe, where everyone in the real world co-exists with this world of wizards.”
He added: “It’s like [Who Framed] Roger Rabbit, which is the high-water mark of live action and animation. You bought into the fact that Toon Town exists and cartoon characters are actors in Hollywood. With our show, the audience can take that leap.”
The conversation soon turned to which cartoon character would the castmembers of Son of Zorn enjoy having sex with, given that human-animated character sex is a possibility in the boundaries of the show. “I’m attracted to Zorn,” confessed Hines. Pemberton bluntly declared, “Cheetara from Thundercats. She’s sexy and she’s a cat.” Added Pebdani, “I would like to share kisses with Optimus Prime from Transformers or Fred from Scooby-Doo.“
The September 25 episode of Son of Zorn will be “Defender of Teen Love.” In it, Zorn rediscovers the mystical “Stone of Sight” in an old box and uses it to help Alan get closer to his crush, Nancy. Meanwhile, Edie tells Zorn to move his boxes out of her garage and into his apartment.