Fox has ordered a second season of its new half-hour animated comedy series Bless the Harts for premiere during the 2020-21 season. It marks the second freshman Fox series to get a pickup, following breakout new drama Prodigal Son, which got a full-season order with nine additional episodes.
Because of the nature of animated series, which need a long lead time, a back order for Bless the Harts was not an option, leaving renewal as the only pickup scenario.
Bless the Harts has not been a breakout and has done so-so retaining its The Simpsons lead-in. That is not unusual for animated comedy series; Fox’s Bob’s Burgers got off to an inauspicious start before becoming an Emmy-winning anchor of the network’s Sunday lineup. Fox brass are said to believe creatively in Bless the Harts, the first of a wave of new animated series ordered under Entertainment President Michael Thorn’s push in the area.
Bless the Harts has averaged 3.3 million viewers across all platforms and a 1.0 rating in Live+7 following its September 29 premiere. The series hails from The Last Man on Earth co-executive producer Emily Spivey and executive producers Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Seth Cohen and features a voice cast of comedy stars, including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jillian Bell, Ike Barinholtz and Kumail Nanjiani. It follows the Harts, a Southern family that is always broke and forever struggling to make ends meet. They one day hope to achieve the American dream, but they’re already rich – in friends, family and laughter.
“Bless the Harts is an incredibly sharp, yet sweet, series that complements the Fox Animation Domination block perfectly,” said Thorn. “It simply doesn’t get much better than having a comedy anchored by talent like Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, Jillian Bell and Kumail Nanjiani. We want to thank creator and executive producer Emily Spivey, whose unique voice and personal experience brought this family to life, as well as executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and our partners at 20th Century Fox Television. We are thrilled to watch the Hart family experience more adventures, mishaps and boxed wine for another amazing season.”
In the series, Jenny Hart (Wiig) is a single mother supporting her family working as a waitress in the small town of Greenpoint, NC. While Jenny’s the head of her family, she’s often at odds with, or scheming with, her lottery scratcher-obsessed mother, Betty (Rudolph), and her witty, creative daughter, Violet (Bell). Jenny’s doting, eternal-optimist boyfriend of 10 years, Wayne Edwards (Barinholtz), is the love of her life and a surrogate father to Violet. He’s a charming dreamer who might never hit the big time, but he’s not going to give up the fight. Jenny’s even got a bit of divine power in her corner, as Jesus (Nanjiani) regularly appears to her while she waits tables at neighborhood restaurant The Last Supper. In the end, the Harts might not have much, but they might just have everything they need.
In the Halloween-themed “Cremains of the Day” episode airing this Sunday, Violet, David and Leonard find out that Wayne is afraid of ghosts, so they decide to take him on a ghost hunt to cure his fear. Meanwhile, Jenny and Betty try to honor Jenny’s late father on his favorite holiday.
Bless the Harts is a co-production of Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television. Spivey, Lord and Miller executive produce along with Wiig, Cohen and Andy Bobrow. Spivey and Bobrow serve as co-showrunners. Animation is produced by Titmouse.