EXCLUSIVE: Syfy has set the full ensemble cast for the TZGZ anime-inspired comedy Magical Girl Friendship Squad. Led by Quinta Brunson (A Black Lady Sketch Show) and Anna Akana (Let It Snow), series regulars also include Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live, Wine Country) and Matteo Lane (The Comedy Lineup).
Christine Baranski (The Good Fight, The Big Bang Theory), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Helen Hong (Silicon Valley, The Unicorn), Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes Cartoons, Muppet Babies) and Sarah “Squirm” Sherman (Three Busy Debras writer) will recur on Magical Girl Friendship Squad. Guest stars are Jason Mantzoukas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, John Wick 3), Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds, DuckTales), Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jamie Loftus (Robot Chicken writer) and Patti Harrison (Shrill, I Think You Should Leave). Stephanie Sheh (Sailor Moon), Taylor Ortega (Kim Possible, Love Life) and Daisy Hobbs ( Broadway’s Aladdin, musical web series Outcast) have been tapped as utility players.
Created by Kelsey Stephanides, Magical Girl Friendship Squad is a female-driven anime comedy about two young women, Alex (Brunson) and Daisy (Akana), who are destined to save the Universe…as soon as they figure out how to pay their rent.
In January, TZGZ greenlit a straight-to-series order of the longer-form version of the show (six 15-minute episodes).
Produced by Cartuna, the short-form version, Magical Girl Friendship Squad: Origins (six four-minute episodes), currently airs as part of the late-night adult animation block’s acquisition slate.
Brunson’s Alex is a matter-of-fact realist with a weakness for “mom stuff.” She plays it safe but can’t seem to catch a break in her career. Akana’s Daisy is a passionate slacker with a love of pop culture and an unwavering belief in herself. She refuses to be pinned down by a day job or a steady relationship. Gasteyer portrays Nut, a cute, scrappy and impatient little red panda who also happens to be the creator of our universe and will do whatever it takes to protect it. Lane is Corvin, Verus’s human henchman/executive assistant who is vain, witty and not great at the “hard work” part of his job.
Baranski recurs as Verus, an icy and efficient omni-universal being like Nut who sees imperfection as weakness and is driven by destruction rather than creation. Jacinto is Coffee Dude, Alex’s coffee shop crush and the anti-bad boy. Instead of being dark, brooding or mysterious, he is calm, optimistic and incredibly average with a love for the simpler things in life. Hong and Bauza are Daisy’s mom and dad, both devout followers of the Church of The Savior’s Unthinkable Torment – a pro-suffering, highly specific religion which, unbeknownst to them, Daisy does not believe in. Sherman is Lulu, Alex and Daisy’s bitter landlord who has a disdain for anything “millennial” and no patience for late rent payments.
Mantzoukas guests as The Emptier, the only being with the power to destroy entire universes, fueled by destruction as the cosmic embodiment of capitalism. Brewster is Gloriana, Nut’s smug omni-universal goddess sister with a strong desire to one-up everything Nut does, including universe creation. Lovell is CBD Monster, a dangerously relaxed monster with the ability to drain energy using dark magic and a lot of CBD. Loftus is Nightscreamr, the leader of a group of mysterious 1995 teenagers who all have an odd obsession with Nut. Harrison is The Mushroominations, an otherworldly parasite that latches onto mortals and barrages them with their deepest personal insecurities.
Sheh, Ortega and Hobbs will voice multiple roles.
Cartuna produces. James Belfer, Adam Belfer and Max Benator executive produce, along with Hallie Cantor who is also the lead writer.
Brunson is repped by ICM, Authentic Management and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. Akana is with CAA and The Coronel Group. Gasteyer is repped by Gersh and Circle of Confusion. Lane is repped by Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, ICM and Ziffren Brittenham. Baranski is repped by UTA and Viking Entertainment. Jacinto is repped by Alchemy Entertainment, CAA, Principals Talent and McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Hong is repped by Innovative Artists. Bauza is repped by SBV Talent Agency. Sherman is with Mosaic and UTA. Mantzoukas is repped by UTA, Rise Management and Morris Yorn. Brewster is with The Burstein Company, UTA and attorney Joel McKuin. Lovell is repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment. Loftus is repped by Mosaic and UTA. Harrison is repped by Rise Management and ICM. Sheh is repped by Atlas Talent Agency. Ortega is with Mosaic, Gersh, Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers.